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The Government has published the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (Amendment) Order 2013, which makes changes to the rules relating to collective redundancy consultation.
Where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 100 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less, the 90-day minimum consultation period necessary before the first dismissal takes effect is reduced to 45 days. Where at least 20 but fewer than 100 employees are proposed to be made redundant, the consultation period remains at 30 days.
In addition, the minimum period of notice before the first dismissal takes effect which must be given to the Secretary of State in cases where the employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 100 or more employees within a period of 90 days or less is reduced from 90 to 45 days.
The legislation is also amended to make it clear that employees on fixed-term contracts that have reached the end of their natural life are excluded from the obligations for collective redundancy consultation. However, an employee on a fixed-term contract does have the right to be consulted if the employer is proposing to dismiss the employee as redundant and the dismissal will take effect before the date on which it was agreed that the contract would expire.
The changes took effect from 6 April 2013.
Carrying out a redundancy programme always requires care, and failure to carry out meaningful consultation as required can lead to an Employment Tribunal requiring the employer to make protective awards to the dismissed employees. The maximum protective award for failing to consult where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 100 or more employees remains at 90 days’ remuneration.
If you are faced with having to make staff redundant, we can help ensure that this difficult process is carried out without the risk of unanticipated financial consequences.