Comment on Government plans to reduce large-scale collective redundancy consultation period from 90 to 45 days
The Government has announced plans to reduce the minimum consultation period from 90 to 45 days for redundancies of 100 or more employees.
Sarah Peacock comments: "The collective consultation periods are still only minimum periods, with the overriding requirement that consultation should start 'in good time' to enable meaningful consultation to take place.
With the current 90 day minimum consultation period this is unlikely to be a problem, but with a 45 day minimum period Employment Tribunals might be more willing to rule that even 45 days was not 'in good time' in certain circumstances".
"Employers may rightly view the reduced consultation period as a victory for common sense, but they need to remember that this does not affect the potential protective award of up to 90 days' pay per affected employee if the employer has failed to follow the statutory consultation provisions properly.
The Government noted in its consultation that the purpose of protective awards is punitive, and not related to the minimum consultation periods. Protective awards are very costly because unlike redundancy payments, they are not subject to a statutory limit on a week's pay, but are based on actual pay."