Am I being laid off? A redundant question for some
09 March 2015
A recent European ruling has stated that UK businesses don’t have to put in place a collective redundancy consultation of 90 days when laying off staff and they don’t have to include all staff in consultations if the company has fewer than 20 employees.
This decision was a result of discrepancies over redundancies at Woolworths at the time the company went into administration back in 2008. The staff working at smaller branches that employed fewer than 20 people complained that they had not been included in consultations when being informed of their redundancy. In addition, over 3,000 former employees of the high street chain were not compensated in 2010 as a result of them working in smaller stores. Their colleagues in larger branches were, however, awarded compensation.
The reason for this discrepancy was that officials decided that individual shops counted as one ‘establishment’ according to laws dating from 1992. The case was brought to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Justice of the European Union and finally the Advocate General stated that UK rules were compliant with European law.
At a time when we are seeing major changes to our high street, it’s important for both employers and employees to be aware of the laws surrounding redundancy.