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Collective redundancy consultation

Updating authors: Max Winthrop and Zuraida Curtis


  • Employment law provides two different definitions of redundancy. (See Overview)
  • There is a legal definition of redundancy that is relevant for collective consultation purposes only. (See Meaning of "redundancy" for collective consultation purposes)
  • Employers are required to inform and consult relevant union or employee representatives about redundancy proposals before they implement them. (See Duty to consult)
  • The duty to consult arises where an employer is proposing to dismiss and the consultation must begin in good time. (See "Proposing to dismiss" and Timing of consultation)
  • Consultation must be undertaken with a view to reaching agreement. (See Meaning of consultation)
  • Employers must consult the appropriate representatives of any affected employee, that is either trade union representatives or, if there are none, elected employee representatives. (See Appropriate representatives)
  • Employers must notify the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy if they are proposing to make collective redundancies. (See Notification to the BEIS)
  • A failure to comply with any of the statutory consultation requirements will render an employer liable to pay affected employees a protective award. (See Protective award)
  • Employers have a "special circumstances" defence to any claim for a protective award but only exceptional circumstances will justify failing to consult. (See Special circumstances defence)