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5-06-2013

Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within 90 days, there is an obligation to consult with appropriate representatives of the employees. Failure to do so entitles those employees to a Protective Award of up to 90 days pay.

Until recently the provisions had broadly been interpreted such that often the obligation was not triggered where an employer was making redundancies at multiple sites, but where at each site the proposed redundancies fell below the 20 threshold.

It is being reported that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in USDAW and others v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (in liquidation) combined with USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd (in administration) has removed the requirement that, for dismissals to count towards the 20+ threshold, they must be at a single establishment.

This means that if employers are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant across their business as a whole, the requirement is triggered. Obviously, this means that the obligation to undertake collective consultation is likely to be triggered far more often.

More to follow when the case report is published.

Sarah Rushton

Sarah Rushton is an employment partner at Moon Beever.

This is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information. 

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