Under EU law, there is a requirement on employers to consult with representatives of their workforce in the event of a collective redundancy. Consultation is also widely recommended as good practice. Under UK law, there is a statutory duty to consult representatives of any recognized trade union, or, if no union is recognized, other elected representatives of the affected employees. Employee representatives may be elected solely for the purpose of consultation about redundancies or they could be part of an existing consultative body. The consultation must cover ways of avoiding redundancies, reducing the numbers to be made redundant, and mitigating the effects. It must also be undertaken with a view to reaching an agreement with the workforce representatives and must begin in good time: at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 20–99 employees are to be made redundant and at least 90 days before the first dismissal if 100 or more are to be made redundant. A failure to consult can result in a case going to an Employment Tribunal, which can make a ‘protective award’ as compensation to the employees.
Subjects: Human Resource Management.