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
Enhanced to include information on how the obligation to consult may be triggered where groups of redundancies are aggregated.
Updated to provide guidance for line managers on the implications of making redundancies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Many employers will be faced with the possibility of carrying out redundancies over the coming weeks and months. Employment lawyer Darren Newman navigates you through the law on carrying out a collective redundancy exercise.
Practical guidance on carrying out collective redundancy consultation with a remote workforce, when employees are on furlough or working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including electing employee representatives and conducting the consultation process.
Nick Chronias, partner at DAC Beachcroft, guides you through the legal and practical considerations of running a collective consultation process with a remote workforce.
With many employers potentially having to make redundancies as a result of the coronavirus crisis, consultant editor Darren Newman considers the likelihood of the "special circumstances" defence applying if they fail to comply with their collective consultation obligations.
Although the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme currently offers a short-term alternative to redundancies, when it comes to an end there is no doubt that many organisations will have no alternative but to make some of their workforce redundant. This raises the question for HR of how the redundancy consultation obligations run alongside this period of furlough. Consultant editor Darren Newman examines the issues.
Updated to include information on Keeping Kids Company (in compulsory liquidation) v Smith and others, concerning the employer's duty to consult on collective redundancies.
Updated to take account of the General Data Protection Regulation, in force from 25 May 2018, and to include information on Keeping Kids Company (in compulsory liquidation) v Smith and others, concerning the employer's duty to consult on collective redundancies.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to collective redundancies - information and consultation.