Does my employer have to consult the union about redundancy?

Last updated: 25 Nov 2020

An employer must consult where they propose to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment over a 90-day period.

Where there is a recognised trade union the employer must consult with the union.

If there is no union recognised then the employer must consult with other employee representatives.

Consultation must be undertaken ‘with a view to reaching agreement’ and ‘in good time’.

Where there are 100 or more redundancies proposed the consultation must begin at least 45 days before the first dismissal takes effect. Where there are between 20 and 99 redundancies it must be at least 30 days before.

The consultation must include discussion on ways of:

  • avoiding the redundancies
  • reducing the numbers being dismissed
  • mitigating the consequences of the dismissals.

If an employer fails to consult, the union can bring a claim to the employment tribunal. The tribunal can award up to 90 days’ pay for each employee who has been dismissed or was proposed to be dismissed (known as a protective award).

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