Collective consultation periods and guidance

From 6 April 2013, where an employer envisages making 100 or more employees redundant within a 90-day period, the minimum period of consultation that must be undertaken before the first redundancy can take effect will be reduced from 90 to 45 days.

Note that whilst the 90 day consultation period is being reduced, the existing 30 day minimum period, where an employer envisages making at least 20 but fewer than 100 employees redundant, will not change.

In contrast, the current 90-day maximum award for a 'protective award', where an employer has failed to comply with its duty to consult, will not be reduced as it represents a punitive sanction.

The Government has also decided to legislate to specifically exclude employees on fixed-term contracts "which have reached their agreed termination point" from collective redundancy consultation. Only those employees whose fixed-term contracts are about to end will be excluded. Employees who are employed on fixed-term contracts which are not due to end will still need to be included in the numbers for collective consultation purposes.