With the initial shock over, now is the time for employers to consider how to respond to the EAT’s controversial decision in the Woolworths case.
The EAT has said that the words “at one establishment” in s.188(1) of TULR(C)A 1992 should be disregarded when it comes to determining whether the duty to consult collectively over redundancies is triggered. This means that employers will be required to consult with appropriate representatives whenever they are proposing to dismiss as “redundant” (including dismissals arising from a failure to agree changes to terms and conditions) 20 or more employees anywhere across their business. Single-site employers have nothing to fear from this decision, but multi-site employers do need to look again at how they deal with redundancies across their business.
In the attached note we set out some of the questions we have been asked about this decision and our outline answers.