Employment law 2013 review: redundancy

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This year brought changes to the legislative provisions governing collective redundancy consultation. Since 6 April, where an employer proposes making 100 or more employees redundant within a 90-day period, consultation must begin at least 45 days (previously 90 days) before the first redundancy takes effect. In contrast, the 90-day maximum ‘protective award’, where an employer has failed to comply with its duty to inform and consult, has not been reduced, as it represents a punitive sanction.

In addition, employees on fixed-term contracts ‘that have reached their agreed termination point’ are now specifically excluded from collective redundancy consultation. Only those employees whose fixed-term contracts are about to end will be excluded. So fixed-term employees whose contracts are not due to end will still count.

The law has been rewritten. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has rewritten section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, which governs collective redundancy consultation. In what is commonly referred to as the Woolworths litigation, the EAT removed the requirement that for dismissals to count towards the 20+ limit they must be ‘at one establishment’…

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