Collective Consultation is a process under which employers have to consult staff representatives as opposed to consulting with them individually. However, staff may need to be consulted individually as well, depending on the circumstances.

Consultation is important in a wide variety of employment situations. However, there are two key situations where an employer must consult with staff on a collective basis.

The situations are:

  • Proposed redundancies of 20 or more staff.
  • Transfer of the business (TUPE).

If the employer recognises a trade union at the workplace, consultation must take place with them. Otherwise, the employer must consult with other employee representatives – either through a standing committee which is authorised for this purpose, or via a staff election.

In redundancy cases the consultation must take place over either 30 days (for 20-99 job losses) or 45 days (for 100 or more).

The representatives must be provided with a specified list of information in advance of consultation.

Breach of the consultation requirements can lead to claims for compensation from either unions, representatives or the workers themselves.

Example: With no prior warning, Racket and Co call all their staff to a meeting one Monday morning to advise them that the business has been sold over the weekend and they are now employed by Floggitt Limited. Although the staff are assured that their rights are protected under the TUPE regulations, they are not happy about the lack of prior consultation. Having sought legal advice, they make claims for a failure to inform and consult and are awarded the maximum amount of thirteen weeks’ salary per employee.

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Updates: For employers: Redundancies | TUPE | For employees: Redundancy |
Tagged with: TUPE |

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