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Collective Consultation and Protective Awards

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[Thanks to Ed McFarlane of Deminos HR for preparing this case summary and thanks also to Ian Gatt QC of Herbert Smith for telling me about this case]

The EAT (HHJ Serota) has handed down its decision in Independent Insurance v Aspinall, which is authority for the proposition that in a complaint for a Protective Award under S188-189 TURLCA 1992, an award in favour of an individual claimant cannot extend to other claimants.

The Respondent insurance company went into provisional liquidation, failing to comply with its collective consultation obligations over the ensuing redundancies, and there was no recognised Union, nor employee representatives.

An individual Claimant, Mr Aspinall, won his claim for a Protective Award of 90 days pay, and the employment tribunal made the award for the benefit of Mr Aspinall and 350 of his redundant colleagues, who were not party to his claim.

On appeal, the EAT limited the award to Mr Aspinall, holding that where an individual employee claims a Protective Award, only that employee has the benefit of it. The representative rights to claim for a Protective Award only relate to claims by Trades Union or elected representatives for their 'constituencies'.