Unlike the Information and Consultation Regulations, the more specific consultation requirements for collective redundancies have been with us for many years, but they are still capable of throwing up surprises, like the decision of the EAT UK Coal Mining v NUM. That case overturned a longstanding view that consultation did not need to take place about the business reasons behind mass redundancies. It points out that in situations where a business decision - in this case the closure of a pit - makes redundancies inevitable, consultation should take place about the decision from which redundancies will follow.

The circumstances in UK Coal were exceptional, but the principles behind the decision could have a wider application and lead to tribunals fixing an earlier trigger point for the start of collective consultation in a range of situations.

For the full judgment in UK Coal Mining v NUM click here.