Employment Law case update: USDAW & Wilson v Woolworths & Others

Employment Law case update: USDAW & Wilson v Woolworths & Others

Nicola Robson, Employment Law solicitor at Gosschalks, gives an update on the long running saga regarding the cases that came out of the collapse of Woolworths, Ethel Austin and others.

You’ll recall it was always understood that the trigger for collective consultation on redundancies, whether 20 people or more were being made redundant in any rolling 90-day period, only applied per ‘establishment’.

That meant there had to be more than 20 (or more than 100 if you were in the next band up) being made redundant at any one shop or factory.

After the collapse of Woolworths, there were cases in our own court system to suggest you should take the number being made redundant across the whole organisation.

This came as a huge surprise and ran contrary to all established advice and indeed ACAS’s position.

The situation at the moment is that the General has been asked by the Court of Appeal whether those 20 ‘refer to each establishment or the wider organisation.’  

His answer is that the underlying European directive neither says it has to be nor says it should be!

His opinion is not binding on the full ECJ (European Court of Justice). A final definitive decision is expected later this year.

What this means for you

In the unlikely event you’re making redundancies that might potentially trigger the 20 threshold across your entire organisation, in any rolling 90 day period, you need to be aware of the possibility of collective consultation and the 30 day minimum period applying.

Need advice? We can help you

Call Nicola Robson today on 01482 324252.

Or email njr@gosschalks.co.uk.

Click here to find out more our Employment Law services.

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