Scope of Collective Consultation Obligations Referred to ECJ


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Posted on 15 Jul 2013

The ECJ has been asked to consider whether the duty to consult about collective redundancies is triggered where 20 or more redundancies are proposed across the whole of the employer’s business or only where 20 or more are proposed at a particular establishment.

The reference, in the case of Lyttle v Bluebird UK Bidco 2 Ltd, pre-dates the recent EAT decision in the Woolworths case (USDAW and others v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (in liquidation) and another) where the EAT ruled that the duty is triggered once an employer proposes 20 or more redundancies within a 90 day period, irrespective of the number of establishments involved. The ECJ will be asked to rule on what the Collective Redundancies Directive requires. 

Whilst employment tribunals applying the law going forward will need to follow the EAT decision in the Woolworths case, the ECJ reference in this case will be of interest should the EAT’s decision in the Woolworths case be appealed. The Secretary of State is currently considering whether to appeal. 

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