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Where Am I -   Consultation period

Consultation period - What

It is vital that the employer informs the workforce of who will be made redundant and why, as soon as possible. This gives the workforce or their representatives the opportunity to put forward alternative proposals for consideration by the employer.

This consultation should begin as soon as possible and a legal minimum time period has been set.

  • For twenty to ninety nine redundancies the period is set at:

    • thirty days before the first dismissal takes place

  • For one hundred or more redundancies the period is set at:

    • ninety days before the first dismissal takes place

Regardless of however many redundancies are proposed, the employer should consult with the employees and their representatives. Employee representatives can be part of an already existing consultative body or be elected specifically to deal with redundancy issues.

The employer must provide enough information to the representatives in order for them to be able to act effectively. This information must be supplied in writing and include a clear explanation of why the redundancies are necessary, selection criteria used, and calculation method of redundancy payments.

The employer must also allow the representatives paid time off work to carry out their duties, together with access to the employees concerned and facilities such as a working area and telephone.

Employers should not issue redundancy notices or make any kind of public announcements without this prior consultation taking place. Notices may then be issued once significant and meaningful consultation has occurred.

Protective Award:

Improper consultation can result in the Employment Tribunal applying a Protective Award against the employer. This means that the employer will have to pay the employees for a certain amount of time, whether they are working or not.

Prompt notification will also mean that employees can apply for new jobs, and seek training.

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Failure by an employer to meet the consultation requirements

Where redundancies are proposed, consultation with employees and their representatives should begin as soon as possible and must begin

  • At least 30 days before the first redundancy takes place if 20 - 99 employees are to be dismissed at one site over a period of 90 days or less

  • At least 90 days before the first redundancy takes place if 100 plus employees are to be dismissed at one site over a period of 90 days or less

Where it is felt that the employer has failed in any way to meet the consultation requirements, for example, by reducing the consultation period or by failing to consult on how redundancies may be avoided, a complaint can be made to a tribunal.

A trade union, an elected employee representative, or any employee who has been or is to be dismissed, can apply for a tribunal hearing. Application must be made within three months of the date on which the last dismissal takes place.

Application to a tribunal should be made on form ET1
web site: http://www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk

If you are making a claim check the jurisdiction list on the employment tribunals web site first at the following web site:
Employment Tribunal http://www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk/about_us/jurisdiction_list.htm

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