What happens if employees invited to elect representatives for collective redundancy purposes fail to do so?
Where employees fail to elect representatives for collective redundancy purposes within a reasonable time, the employer should give each affected employee the required information set out in s.188(4) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULR(C)A) (s.188(7B). This includes the reason for the proposals, the proposed method of selection for redundancy, and how the dismissals will be carried out. It is important to note that, while s.188(7B) provides for what happens if employees fail to elect representatives within a reasonable time, s.188A of TULR(C)A makes it clear that it is primarily the employer's responsibility to make the arrangements for the elections.
If the employees eventually elect employee representatives, the employer should ensure that it meets its collective consultation obligations to avoid the possibility of being subjected to a protective award, or challenges regarding the fairness of any subsequent dismissals.