The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) has now published its judgment in a recent case which confirms reports of a significant change to the law on collective redundancy consultation.
When an employer proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees it must, within a period of 90 days or less, collectively consult representatives of those affected prior to implementation.
The government had previously stipulated, when implementing the European Collective Redundancies Directive (from which this obligation arises) that the obligation would only be triggered if the proposed redundancies involved 20 or more employees who all worked “at one establishment” within the employer’s organisation.
However the EAT has now held that the words “at one establishment” should be deleted from UK legislation.
Employers can therefore no longer divide their UK business into different establishments in order lawfully to avoid the obligation to collectively consult about proposed redundancies. They must now collectively consult, within a period of 90 days or less, when they are proposing to dismiss 20 or more employees as redundant anywhere in their UK business.