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Collective Redundancies and Employee Representatives

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[Thanks to Ed McFarlane of Deminos HR for preparing this case summary]

The EAT (Jan Luba QC) has handed down its decision in Phillips v Xtera Communications Ltd, which is authority for the proposition that an 'election' takes place for employee representatives in redundancy collective consultations under TULRCA 1992 where the number of nominations equals the number of representatives' positions, even if there is no ballot.

The redundant Claimant argued that he was entitled to a protective award due to his employer's failure to hold an 'election' for employee representatives when the number of nominations matched the number of representatives, the employment tribunal disagreed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal, observing that there were sufficient safeguards for employees as the statute requires that the employer makes 'such arrangements as are reasonably practicable' to ensure that an election is fair, and an employee concerned about an employer 'rigging' the nomination process can trigger a ballot by standing themselves or nominating another candidate.