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consultation period for large scale redundancies to be halved

19 December 2012

The consultation period of at least 90 days where 100 or more redundancies are proposed at one establishment is to be halved to 45 days from April 2013.

 Currently, dismissals cannot take effect for the minimum period which can delay necessary changes. The consultation period is 30 days where 20 – 99 redundancies are proposed and the Government rejected calls to apply this across the board.

 The change will be welcomed by employers as it enables more effective restructures with less impact on morale and productivity. Commonly, consultation is concluded within the 90 day period and employers and employees are keen to determine the outcome as soon as possible. Employers can utilise a longer consultation period if necessary however, unions are arguing that the changes make it easier to dismiss employees at a time of financial crisis.

 The expiry of fixed term contracts will also be excluded from collective redundancy agreements and a new non-statutory Acas guidance for collective consultation will be introduced.

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