The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has today given its decision in the case of USDAW and others – v – Ethel Austin and others, otherwise known as the Woolworths case. The CJEU has decided that, in determining whether collective redundancy consultation obligations are triggered, an employer need only consider proposed
What is an ‘establishment’ for collective redundancy consultation purposes?
The Advocate General has given a preliminary opinion in the case of USDAW & Wilson v Woolworths and others (“the Woolworths case”) on the question of whether there is a requirement to aggregate the number of employees across different locations to meet the thresholds for collective consultation obligations (in England and Wales, of 20 employees…
Rewriting the law – UK collective redundancy consultation obligations change dramatically
Employers are required to collectively consult when proposing to dismiss 20 or more employees at one establishment as redundant within a period of 90 days or less (section 188 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (“TULRCA”).Defining what is meant by “at one establishment” for this purpose has always been tricky, and has led to significant debate. The issue is of particular importance to employers with multiple sites, such as retailers.
But now it seems that such debate has been rendered obsolete, with the Employment Appeal Tribunal (the “EAT”) holding that the words “at one establishment” should be deleted from section 188. Although this makes the law easier to apply, employers should be aware that the price of such clarity is that they are now more likely to be subject to collective consultation obligations when making widespread redundancies.…
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