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Single establishment - school or the education department?

19 October 2012

Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992 requires an employer to consult with the employees’ representatives where they propose to dismiss 20 or more employees at a single establishment within 90 days or less.

But is the single establishment a school or the whole of the local authority’s education department? In the case of Renfrewshire council v The Educational Institute of Scotland the employment tribunal held it was the latter. The tribunal placed reliance upon the fact that there was a mobility clause in the teachers’ contracts which allowed the council to move the teacher to another school within the local authority, even though in reality this was never used.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has remitted the case back to the tribunal but has suggested that in most cases the question of single establishment will be relatively straightforward: is the school or the education department the unit to which the teachers are assigned to perform their duties.

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