The PCS union brought a claim alleging that, as the recognised union, the employer had failed to consult them about proposed collective redundancies in accordance with section 188 TULRCA. In a preliminary hearing, the Tribunal decided that they were recognised by the employer, but the union lost on appeal.
The EAT held that to constitute collective bargaining for the purposes of recognition, there must be negotiations between the parties on matters such as pay or other issues set down in TULRCA. Just because an employer had discussions with a trade union about various matters over a long period of time does not convert discussion into negotiation. Discussion is not to be equated with negotiation. In the absence of the clear evidence needed to establish that an employer recognises a trade union, the EAT decided to remit the case to a new Tribunal.