What is collective redundancy?

In circumstances where there are mass redundancies, employers are required to enter into collective consultation and comply with certain time-scales. The details are outside the scope of this guide, but in summary:

Where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less, the employer must consult with appropriate representatives of any affected employees, or any employees that may be affected by the measures taken in connection with those dismissals. The appropriate representatives are:

  • A recognised trade union
  • Appointed employee representatives.

Or the individual employees, where neither of the above exist.

The consultation must begin in good time and in any event, if:

  • the employer is proposing to dismiss 100 or more employees within 90 days or less, consultation shall begin at least 90 days before the dismissals take effect; and
  • the employer is proposing to dismiss less than 100 (but more than 20) within the 90 day period, consultation must begin at least 30 days before the dismissals take effect.

Voluntary redundancies are included within the numbers of dismissed employees.

The definition of redundancy for the purposes of collective consultation is different (and much wider) than in relation to individual employment rights.