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Collective redundancy dismissal – Changes in the law

By Stephen Smith, employment law solicitor.

RULES for employers who make large-scale redundancies look like being scrapped.

The Government has published proposals to change the law on redundancy consultation. At the moment, employers must consult collectively for a minimum of 30 days before the first person is made redundant where anything between 20 and 99 jobs are to go, and for a minimum of 90 days when 100 or more. The Government has put forward the idea of reduce the 90-day period to either 30 or 45 days.

This would mean that, where a factory is to close, for example, the employees would only be given a month’s notice to look elsewhere to find another job.

The change is being proposed on the basis it gives greater flexibility to companies, and allows them to compete with those in other countries for business. However, it is well-established that in the rest of the EU, the redundancy consultation rules are already stronger than in the UK.

To balance this watering-down of the rules, the Government is also consulting with employers and unions on a new Code of Practice, which would include guidance about the quality of the consultation. But this Code will not have the force of law, although it could be referred to in any subsequent Employment Tribunal case.

*The Glasgow Law Practice acts for both employees and employers in redundancy consultations. Our employment law solicitors offer initial free advice on your situation.