The importance of collective consultation


The Telegraph recently reported on a £20k fine awarded against Credit Suisse by an Employment Tribunal for breaching its obligations on collective consultation, where the breach was also found to have one or more aggravating features. (

The report comes as a stark warning to employers to remember their legal obligations under s.188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 when making more than 20 employees redundant within a period of 90 days or less.

In this case, the employer failed to consult about ways to reduce the number of dismissals and also failed to disclose in writing to the appropriate reps some of the required information.

The successful claim was for a protective award and penalty against the employer and was brought by one of the employee reps. The result was that those employees who were part of the same redundancy round as the Claimant were each awarded remuneration for the protected period of 45 days (the maximum is 90).  It's not clear how many employees were in that round, but there's no doubt it's a chunky award overall given that a week's pay is uncapped for these purposes (i.e. an employee's actual gross weekly pay is applies calculation). The fine of £20k (payable to the Secretary of State) was in addition to this.

For the basics on consultation, check out part 1 of our 3-part blog on Making Redundancies:

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