Information and consultation in collective redundancy

Produced by Tolley in association with Andy Williams at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Andy Williams at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Information and consultation in collective redundancy
  • When do the statutory obligations apply?
  • How to calculate the number of employees affected
  • Those not covered
  • When information and consultation must start
  • Appropriate representatives
  • Information to be provided
  • Consultation on avoiding redundancy
  • Consultation on reasons for redundancy
  • Exceptions
  • More...

Information and consultation in collective redundancy

When do the statutory obligations apply?

Where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within any period of 90 days, specific statutory requirements for information and consultation exist (see the Collective redundancy ― overview guidance note). The duty requires the employer to consult with appropriate representatives of the affected employees about ways of avoiding the dismissals, reducing the number of dismissals and mitigating the consequences of the dismissals. If an employer fails to comply with these requirements, a claim for a protective award of up to 90 days’ pay per employee may be made to an employment tribunal. This note deals specifically with the information and consultation requirements in a collective redundancy scenario. This UK obligation actually derives from a European Directive, the European Collective Redundancy Directive (98/59/EC).

Although the law applies to 20 or more employees at one establishment, the European Directive which it implements refers to establishments in the plural. In the combined case of Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) and B Wilson v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (in liquidation), Ethel Austin Ltd and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (C-80/14), the European Court of Justice clarified that the term ‘establishment’ in the European Redundancy Directive (98/59/EC) is to be interpreted as referring to the unit to which the worker was assigned their duties. Therefore, each establishment is to be considered separately.

Where fewer than 20 employees are being made redundant, although there are no formal statutory requirements for information and consultation, employers must still act fairly to avoid successful unfair dismissal claims by the employees (see the Individual redundancy guidance note). Acting fairly in individual redundancies requires a certain level of consultation, both where employees are represented by unions and where they are not.

It is important to remember that for the purpose of the rules on information and consultation in collective redundancy, every dismissal

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