Changes to the collective redundancies consultation regime announced

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The government has just announced its plans to revise the UK’s collective consultation regime. The changes, due to come into force in April 2013, will have an impact on all businesses that are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant in one establishment, within a period of 90 days or more.

For redundancies of 100+ employees, reducing the consultation period from 90 to 45 days. The 90-day period for calculating headcount will not change, nor will the maximum 90-day protective award period.

Any fixed-term employee whose contract “reached the end of its natural life” will be excluded from the obligations for collective redundancies consultation. Whilst we assume this also means such employees will not count towards the number of employees which an employer proposes to dismiss as redundant, that point has not been made clear in BIS’s response to the consultation. Although a fixed-term contract will have to have a clear termination point in order to benefit from the exemption, the exemption will not apply where an employer is considering early termination because of redundancy…

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