Collective Redundancies: Advocate General's Opinion on Establishment Question Expected in February


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Posted on 15 Dec 2014

USDAW has indicated that the Advocate General is expected to give his opinion on 5 February on whether the Collective Redundancies Directive requires that collective redundancy consultation obligations are triggered whenever an employer proposes 20 or more redundancies, irrespective of whether they are at the same establishment.

Back in 2013, in the case of USDAW and another v Ethel Austin and another, the EAT ruled that the words "at one establishment" in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 should be ignored when determining whether collective redundancy consultation obligations are triggered. This means that it does not matter whether proposed redundancies are at the same or different establishments of the employer.  Following an appeal to the Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal decided to refer the question to the Court of Justice of the European Union ("ECJ").  

The Advocate General's opinion, expected on 5 February, is the first stage in the consideration of the case. Whilst the ECJ will not be bound to follow the Advocate General's opinion, in most cases it does.  The Advocate General's opinion is therefore a useful indicator of which way the case may go.    

Click here for further information on the case.

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