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Collective redundancy consultation period to be reduced to 45 days

The government has today issued its response to the consultation on reducing the collective consultation period for large scale redundancies. The government’s response to the consultation can be accessed here.

From April 2013, the collective redundancy consultation period which applies where an employer is proposing to dismiss 100 or more employees at one establishment within a 90 day period will be reduced from 90 to 45 days. The government believes that a 45 day period for large scale redundancies will allow employers to restructure more quickly and save them administrative and wage costs; and that employees will benefit from greater certainty and a less marked impact on morale and productivity.

Legislation is to be introduced to exclude fixed term contracts which are reaching their agreed expiry date from collective redundancy obligations. However, a fixed-term contract would need to have a clear termination point in order for it to benefit from this exemption. Further, the exemption would not apply where the employer is considering early termination of the contract as a result of redundancy.

ACAS will issue a new non-statutory code of practice which will focus on dealing effectively with the most contentious issues, such as providing guidance on the meaning of an ‘establishment’.

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