A ‘Sweet’ Result for Employers regarding Collective Consultation


In recent times, employers have faced uncertainty when looking to make significant redundancies. In particular, the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the Woolworths and Ethel Austin cases introduced an alternative interpretation to the meaning of ‘one establishment’.

With the effect that where redundancies of 20 or more people were proposed across one business as opposed to at one location, the employer was required to undertake collective consultation.

However, in line with the opinion given by the Advocate General earlier this year, the Court of Justice of the European Union has just issued its decision, which confirms that collective consultation will only be required where there are 20 or more redundancies proposed at one location.

This represents a significant win for employers and insolvency practitioners appointed to insolvent employers who otherwise could have been faced with

far more onerous obligations where mass redundancies across a business were contemplated.

However, whilst this has settled matters for the moment, a review of collective consultation and its suitability for insolvent employers in particular, is anticipated.

For further information and/or advice regarding employment issues whether in a solvent or insolvent situation, please contact Allana Sweeney, Associate (Corporate Restructuring) at asweeney@hbjgateley.com or Sarah Gilzean, Associate (Employment) at sgilzean@hbjgateley.com.