The European Court of Justice has this morning given its judgment in the case of USDAW v Woolworths on the trigger for collective redundancy consultation obligations for multi-site employers. In welcome news for employers, it has followed the Advocate-General’s opinion reported here. When applying the threshold for consultation of 20 or more proposed redundancies “at one establishment” over a 90 day period, EU law does not require the proposed redundancies to be aggregated across all of an employer’s separate employment units. 

The Court ruled that the concept of ‘establishment’ must be interpreted in an autonomous and uniform manner across the EU. Where an undertaking comprises several entities, it is the entity to which the workers made redundant are assigned to carry out their duties that constitutes the ‘establishment’.