If your employer wishes to make 20 or more people redundant (in a 90 day period or less), the workforce must be consulted, by law. If there is a union, which is formally recognised by your employer, it must be consulted. If there is no union, your employer must consult other representatives from the workforce. You should be offered time and support to organise representatives.
Your representatives must be consulted about ways of avoiding the need for redundancies. Consultation does not mean that agreement is reached, but your employer must genuinely consult, not just inform you about proposed job losses. The law is specific about the information that should be disclosed to your representatives. The timescale for collective consultation is:
1) Where it is intended to make 100 or more employees redundant within a period of 90 days or less, the consultation must begin as soon as possible and at least 45 days before the first dismissal is effected.
2) Where between 20 and 99 employees are to be made redundant, consultation should begin as soon as possible – and at least 30 days before the first dismissal is due to take affect.
Employees should not be issued with notice of any redundancy dismissals until after the consultation period has ended.
You should also be spoken to individually regarding any impending redundancies. Individual consultation should take place even where collective consultation is happening. This should be as soon as reasonably practicable, no time scale is set out by law.
If you feel that your employer has not consulted with you, you may be entitled to compensation, called a “protective” award. It could also lead to your dismissal being unfair.
For further help, contact our advice line.