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Europe decides on redundancy consultations

06 Feb 2015

The Advocate General has recommended to The European Court of Justice (ECJ) that UK employers should not have to offer 90 days redundancy consultations.

Employers are also welcoming the recommendation that all staff do not have to be included in consultations if there are fewer than 20 employees, following complaints from Woolworths’ staff when the company went into administration in 2008.

Disagreements over wording in labour relations laws, specifically having fewer than 20 staff ‘at one establishment’, meant that 3000 Woolworths’ employees did not receive compensation when the company folded because they worked in smaller stores. Those working at larger stores did receive compensation. The recommendation is to clarify the wording with ‘local employment unit’, upholding the decision that smaller stores do not have to provide compensation.

Deputy Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Katja Hall, said: ‘We hope that the court will accept the Advocate General’s advice. This will provide a welcome boost to UK businesses by reducing the administrative burden that had forced them to undertake numerous redundancy consultations’.

A final ruling by the ECJ has yet to be made in light of this recommendation.