Consultation in respect of collective redundancies is triggered where the employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less. An Employment Judge decided that "establishment" for the purposes of the claimant teachers in this case was the Education Service of Renfrewshire Council and not the individual school where they worked. If correct, the Council had failed to carry out collective consultation (believing that the 20 or more trigger had not been reached at the school).
The Employment Appeal Tribunal allowed the Council's appeal and remitted the case to the Judge for further consideration. In so doing, the EAT provided a helpful summary of how case law interprets the term "establishment". In particular, it stated that where "establishment" is contested, then the focus should be on identifying the unit to which the workers concerned are physically and factually assigned to perform their tasks (as opposed to, for example, focusing on where they might be required to work under a mobility clause or the place from which many aspects of their employment were controlled).