Employment review of year 2013–14

In this briefing, we take 10 key areas of employment law. We look back on developments in 2013 that are likely to have continuing significance and do our best to anticipate what is likely to happen in 2014.

The biggest shock of 2013 came when the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) announced a complete re-writing of the law of collective redundancies, as it was then understood, in order to comply with EU law.

In a decision that arose from the collapse of the Woolworths chain of stores at the end of 2008, the EAT ruled that redundancies at all of its establishments in the UK should be aggregated for collective consultation purposes. In doing so, it overturned the decision of the employment tribunal that, understandably enough, had relied on the express wording of the legislation to conclude that each establishment should be considered separately. Since the employment tribunal decided that each shop was a separate establishment for these purposes, its decision had meant that staff employed at stores with fewer than 20 staff did not receive a protective award…

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