The Government has announced that the 90-day consultation period where 100 or more redundancies are proposed will reduce to 45 days from April 2013.
Under s.188(1A) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 100 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days, it is required to consult collectively with the appropriate representatives of the affected employees, and this consultation must begin at least 90 days before the first dismissal takes effect. The Government has confirmed that, from April 2013, it will introduce legislation reducing this to 45 days. Acas will issue non-statutory guidance addressing the key contentious issues that arise during consultation, with the aim of improving consultation.
The announcement follows the Government's consultation, launched in June 2012, on changes to the rules on collective redundancies to strip out "gold plating" of the Collective Redundancies Directive (98/59/EC). The Government's main aims were to:
- improve the quality of consultation;
- ensure that employers can restructure effectively to respond to changing market conditions; and
- balance the interests of redundant employees with those who remain.
The Government has also announced that it will exclude fixed-term contracts that have reached their agreed term from the obligation to consult collectively.
- Government response to consultation on changes to the collective redundancy rules (PDF format, 352K) Read the Government's response to the consultation on the UK Government website.
- Fifth statement of new regulation (PDF format, 464K) This document, on the UK Government website, confirms that the changes to collective redundancy rules will be made in April 2013.
Government opens consultation on collective redundancy rules Read XpertHR's summary of the consultation document launched in June 2012.
Good practice guide on informing and consulting during a collective redundancy process This section of the XpertHR good practice manual discusses how employers and employees can exchange views and ideas, issue and receive instructions, discuss problems and consider developments in a collective redundancy situation.
The XpertHR quick reference section includes a summary of the duty to consult representatives, who the appropriate representatives for collective redundancy consultation are, and the information to be communicated to representatives.