Editor's message: Employers are under collective consultation obligations where they propose to make redundancies. If an employer intends to make 20 or more employees redundant within a period of 90 days or less, it has a statutory duty to inform and consult with representatives of a recognised trade union or, where no union is recognised, employee representatives, prior to any redundancies being implemented.
A failure to consult collectively could lead to a tribunal making a "protective award" that will entitle employees to receive up to 90 days' pay.
However, collective consultation is not simply a statutory "tick-box" exercise and you should not overlook its underlying purpose: to provide for a genuine exchange of views and information with a view to reducing or minimising redundancies.
Even if redundancies cannot ultimately be avoided, collective consultation can help your organisation to control the accuracy and timing of the communication process and create a working environment built on trust and cooperation.
Laura Merrylees, senior employment law editor
HR and legal information and guidance relating to collective redundancies - information and consultation.