In a period of 90 days, GCD, a Spanish company, terminated a large number of contracts for a variety of economic reasons. One employee's contract was terminated at the employee’s request, in accordance with Spanish law, following her objection to a 25 per cent pay cut for employees.
The issue in Pujante Rivera v Gestora Clubs Dir SL was whether GCD ought to have followed the collective redundancy procedure in the Spanish legislation implementing the Collective Redundancies Directive. The question for the ECJ was which of the terminations needed to be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the thresholds for collective consultation.
The point of particular interest in the UK is the ECJ's finding that the resignation of the employee in response to GCD’s imposition of a pay cut should be treated as a "redundancy" for the purpose of the Directive.
Although the employee asked for her employment to be terminated, this was in response to the change made unilaterally to "an essential element of her employment contract for reasons not related to her as an individual". This had to be treated as a redundancy for collective consultation purposes.
The result would probably be the same under our redundancy consultation legislation. It is already established that the wider definition of "redundancy" requires collective consultation where an employer changes employees' terms and conditions of employment through termination and re-engagement. In these circumstances, the reason for dismissal is not connected with the individual employee and the employees are therefore treated as having been dismissed by reason of redundancy.