Changes to the collective consultation periods
In coming to power the Coalition Government had set out clearly that they wished to review employment law to maximise flexibility and to ensure a competitive edge, in short, there was a very real appetite to reduce red tape in this area as it was perceived as ‘choking’ growth.
At the end of 2011, the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills called for comment on the TUPE and redundancy consultation processes because,
‘Employers have said during the Employment Law Review that the current rules on collective redundancy consultation slow their ability to restructure effectively and can put future business success at risk.’ (Call for evidence: Collective Redundancy Consultation Rules)
One of the areas highlighted for possible amendment in the future was whether the set periods for consultation should be changed to reflect the quicker pace of decision-making.
Last month, legislation in fact did come into force reducing the consultation periods for collective consultation. This applies only to consultation when making redundancies. Wyn Lewis has produced a briefing note on ‘Redundancies in Great Britain’ which can be found here and sets out the new timescales as well as giving an overview and guide to considering and making redundancies.
The consultation period for TUPE has also closed and the Government’s response is awaited.