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Collective Redundancies and Protective Awards

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In an important decision, the EAT (Burton J. presiding) has held that employees who are not of a description in respect of which a trade union is recognised by their employer are not entitled to 'cash in' on a protective award obtained by the union.

Recognising that allowing such employees to obtain the benefit of a protective award would be a more elegant (and less litigious) alternative to requiring them to bring their own individual tribunal claims under TULR(C)A s189, Burton J. held that the wording of ss188 and 189 did not allow such employees to rely on the protective award obtained by a recognised trade union.

As this case involved an untested (and important) point, permission has been given to appeal to the Court of Appeal. It is. however, unclear whether any appeal will in fact take place as the amounts of money involved do not appear large and the EAT has strongly encouraged settlement.

TGWU v Brauer Coley (in administration)