Duty to inform and consult

Stephen SimpsonEditor's message: In recent years, the workers of a number of companies that have gone bust have been given protective awards for failure to inform and consult them on their impending redundancies.

Your organisation must consult collectively with employees if there is a realistic possibility that your business might close and your workforce might be made redundant.

There is a "special circumstances" defence under which your organisation can be excused if collective consultation is not in practice possible.

However, this defence is exceptionally limited: for example, tribunals and courts have consistently held that even impending insolvency does not absolve an employer from the duty to consult.

Stephen Simpson, principal employment law editor

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