Redundancy Consultation Legal Update

EMPLOYMENT: Information And Consultation Directive ("The Directive")

The United Kingdom must implement the Directive by March 2005, as they were given three years from the time of adoption of the Directive by the EU, in February 2002.

Objective of the Directive

The Directive has as its objectives to entitle employees of an organisation to be informed and consulted on a number of things including:

  • The business' economic situation;
  • Employment prospects
  • Decisions to be taken by management that are likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or contractual relations - this includes redundancies and transfers.

The Directive states that any information and consultation must take place at an appropriate time and at the relevant level of management. Such consultation will normally take place through employee representatives. Once representatives have been given information by employers, they are entitled to offer the collective opinions of employees and to receive a proper response from the employer.

It should be noted that employers are entitled to withhold information from employees, where disclosure of this information would 'seriously harm the company or be prejudicial to it'. This will be a question of fact for tribunals to decide in each case.
On implementation of the Directive, the UK is allowed to restrict its application to businesses with 150 or more employees, until 2007, when it will apply to businesses with 100 or more employees. In 2008, it will apply to businesses with 50 or more employees, meaning that businesses with less than 50 employees will not be affected by the Directive.

If you require further information contact us.

Email: Dr Rosanna Cooper

© RT COOPERS, 2004. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.



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