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Collective redundancies just got more complicated… again. It's a shame, because they had become simpler after the Woolworths case confirmed that you only have to focus on establishments within a business (rather than on a business as a whole) when deciding whether to consult collectively in a redundancy situation. Problem:  the trigger point for when an employer has to start consulting about collective redundancies may have been brought forward to a time that many employers would regard as being no more than an...

When will employers who want to make redundancies have to consult on a collective basis? We don't know. But the European Court of Justice has been asked to consider the Woolworths case. So we still won't know for some time. The Court of Appeal has referred the case of USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd  to the European Court of Justice. The case is more commonly known as "the Woolworths Case" and is potentially of great significance to any employer who may want to make...

Of all the issues that affect employers and individuals, the use of zero hours employment contracts was one that was particularly picked up on by, and debated, in the media last year. Are they one of the ways by which the UK has developed a flexible labour force able to avoid the levels of unemployment seen recently in some other European countries? Or are they (as Dave Prentis General Secretary of Unison has argued) "a return to the bad old days...

At the time of giving my talk, there was a hope that changes would be proposed to TUPE to make it more flexible and commercial, in particular to enable an employer, taking on new employees following a transfer, to harmonise the terms and conditions which pre-2014 changes, was not permitted. Fast forward to 2014 and The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations 2013 will come into force on 31st January 2014. But will the changes make a difference? Will...

In coming to power the Coalition Government had set out clearly that they wished to review employment law to maximise flexibility and to ensure a competitive edge, in short, there was a very real appetite to reduce red tape in this area as it was perceived as 'choking' growth. At the end of 2011, the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills called for comment on the TUPE and redundancy consultation processes because, 'Employers have said during the Employment Law Review that the...

The Government has announced plans for a new kind of employment contract.  It’s called an Employee-owner Contract.  It's a novel idea that's intended to apply from April 2013, but may take some getting used to. The Government will begin consultation on the idea later this month and it will be interesting to see the consequences.  In the meantime, this is how it’s intended to work: employees sacrifice some valuable rights: the right to unfair dismissal, to statutory redundancy pay and to request...

On 14 September 2012 the UK Government published the results of two recent calls for evidence (i.e. requests for comments from stakeholders about what to do next).  The first covers the proposal that there be compensated no-fault dismissals (which will now be abandoned).  The second covers the effectiveness of TUPE 2006 (which the Government is thinking about and will put forward for consultation shortly).  The main thrust of the TUPE consultation is to consider whether the "service provision change" element...