Collective Redundancies – ECJ Ducks the Issue

For some months now, Employment Practitioners and those involved in dealing with HR issues have been awaiting the European Court of Justice’s ruling in the case of USA v Nolan.  This is an important point; setting out when consultation must begin for collective redundancy purposes.

At the moment there is uncertainty in the law as to when this should begin – a dispute essentially being the question of whether consultation needs to be begin as soon as the idea of a redundancy process is contemplated; or when a strategic decision has been taken when a redundancy exercise is necessary.

Despite the Attorney General recently producing an opinion which confirmed that this was due to be when a strategic decision had taken place, we have recently received a judgment from the ECJ confirming that they do not actually have the right to adjudicate on the issue; the Respondent in question being a public body. 

The case has been sent back to the Court of Appeal for a determination.  For the moment this does mean that employers are still in a state of flux as to the timing of a collective redundancy process and when this should begin. This is obviously unhelpful in the present economic climate and careful steps do need to be taken in any redundancy situation to avoid a potentially costly Tribunal claim.  For assistance in dealing with redundancies or any aspect of employment law please contact the Employment Team at Forbes Solicitors on 01254 54374.

This entry was posted in Employment Law.

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