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Redundancy Consultation

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The EAT decision in Leicestershire City Council v UNISON has just been placed on the EAT website.

Leicestershire City Council were renegotiating terms and conditions for about 2,600 employees. As commonly happens, they gave notice of dismissal and offered new jobs on new terms. This consitutes a 'redundancy' for the purpose of the collective consultation obligations in s188 of TULR(C)A 1998.

The EAT (HHJ McMullen QC presiding) upheld the tribunal's decision that the time for consultation (ie when the dismissals were 'proposed') began when the practical decision had been taken by the Council's staff - notwithstanding that it needed a formal political vote/decision by the Council to ratify it - and not when the Council voted in favour of the decision to dismiss / re-hire.

This was consistent with the ECJ decision in Junk v Kuhnel, namely that consultation must take place before the decision to dismiss was taken.

The EAT also upheld the award of 90 days' pay (by way of protective award) to a large group of the workforce. It considered that the fact the employer had provided information before the technical obligation to consult arose did not mean that there must be an automatic reduction from the presumed 90 days' pay (as set out in Susie Radin). The protective award to another section of the workforce was reduced (on fact-specific grounds).

Leicestershire City Council v UNISON