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Redundancy Consultation Rules: A Tale Of Two Workplaces

Posted on Tuesday 10th February 2015 by Neil Andrews

Two workers employed by the same company could be doing exactly the same job and be paid exactly the same salary.Neil Andrews - Partner, Coles Miller

But when it’s time for redundancies, one is entitled to a prescribed consultation period (and compensation if they do not receive it) – the other is not.

Why? Because they’re employed in different sized branches. The one in the big branch with 20+ employees has redundancy consultation rights. The other in the small branch does not.

Hardly seems fair does it?

Yet this is precisely the scenario the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice is recommending the ECJ to approve.

And the ECJ probably will approve it – because the ECJ usually does.

This case – which arose following the Woolworths administration of 2008 – illustrates how surprising and far-reaching employment law rulings and recommendations can be.

Employees worried about their redundancy rights can find out more here.

Meanwhile, small firms will be delighted at the scenario unfolding at the ECJ.

It is one less strand of red tape for those who collectively employ more than half of all private sector workers and represent 50 per cent of UK GDP.

But the employers should temper their joy with caution.

You do not have to look too far back in the recent history of employment law to see that employees who lose one set of rights are quick to pursue other legal avenues when aggrieved.

So employers need to be certain that all their bases are covered and that all their employment policies, contracts and other documents are in order before they think about making redundancies. They can get more information here.

For expert legal advice on all aspects of employment law, contact solicitor Neil Andrews, 01202 673011.

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