Client Login

Employment Law Services Ltd

Consultation period for large scale redundancies to be halved

31st December 2012
The Government has given its response to the recent consultation on the topic of the consultation period that applies to collective redundancies. 

Currently the law requires a 90-day minimum consultation period where employers are proposing to make 100 or more redundancies at one establishment. The Government has announced that it will be reducing this period to 45 days.

The view of the Government was to reject the proposal made on behalf of employers to reduce the consultation period to 30 days. The Government recognised concerns over the the fact that reducing the period to 30 days would result in some employers treating the consultation period as a maximum period rather than as a minimum consultation period.

The issue of uncertainty caused by a lengthy redundancy consultaiton period was recognised by the Government. In our experience the consultation process can sometimes result in helpful dialogue between the parties, and sometimes to suggestions that may result in a reduction in the number of redundancies, but for individuals, a lot of stress can be caused by seeming to drag out the process where the main decisions have usually been made. In addition individual employees are more often keen to start their hunting for new employment prospects than to take time over lengthy consultation with the employer that is expecting to make their role redundant.

It has also been decided to make it clear that the consultation process will not apply to those staff that have been employed on fixed term contracts which have reached (or will reach) the end of their natural life by virtue of the expiry date on the fixed term. 

In order to help employers deal with consultation in a meaningful way ACAS will be preparing guidance on the principles and behaviours underpinning good quality consultation. This must be welcomed, as it can be a cause of delay or confusion when one or other party does not really know how to deal with the issues relevant to the consultation process.   

New legislation is expected to be in place by the 6th April 2013 to address the proposed changes.  If you need any advice on the issues raised in this article do not hesitate to contact us at Hallett Employment Law Services Ltd.

Advanced Site Search