Establishing a collective redundancy appeal
Readers may remember that earlier in the year, the Usdaw v Woolworths case heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) resulted in a finding that deemed that collective redundancies need not be "at one establishment" for there to be a requirement for the employer to consult.
There have now been further developments and The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has been granted permission to appeal the EAT judgement,
In his judgement of 2 July 2013, EAT judge Jeremy McMullen said the words “at one establishment” should be deleted from the law requiring organisations to consult with employees when 20 or more redundancies are taking place in a 90-day period.
BIS has realised that this decision has wider implications and appealed, despite not taking an active part in the original case. That request for an appeal has now been granted by the EAT, to the anger of the shopkeepers' union Usdaw. However, although the EAT gave permission to appeal, it has ordered that Usdaw's legal costs are paid by BIS because of its failure to attend the original appeal hearing.
Until this matter is resolved, employers need to ensure that they do not just consider the number of redundancies at one site when working out whether they have to implement the collective redundancy measures – but if they have more than 20 potential redundancies anywhere within their organisation within a 90 day period they must consult with representatives at all their sites. This is likely to be quite onerous and so if you need any help or advice on this matter, please get in touch.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016