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Collective redundancies: Employer failed to consult unions about ways of avoiding collective redundancies

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    Middlesbrough Borough Council v TGWU and another [2002] IRLR 332 EAT (0 other reports)

In Middlesbrough Borough Council v Transport and General Workers' Union and another 4.5.01 EAT 26/00, the EAT upholds an employment tribunal's finding of fact that an employer failed to consult representatives of two trade unions that it recognised, in respect of more than 100 employees whom it was proposing to make redundant within 90 days, about ways of avoiding the dismissals. The employer's belief that there was no alternative to redundancies did not preclude the tribunal's clear finding, which was both permissible and unsurprising, that such consultation as did take place about avoiding the dismissals was a sham. An employer may, as this one did, genuinely consult about ways of reducing the number of employees to be dismissed, and mitigating the consequences of the dismissals, without genuinely consulting about the principle of whether or not to declare redundancies at all.