Further to our blog on 26 July 2013, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has managed to get permission to appeal against the decision of the EAT in the Woolworths collective redundancy case. This is welcome news for employers, as it looked rather doubtful at one stage that BIS would be able to mount an appeal at all.
The EAT’s decision in May of this year radically changed the law such that collective redundancy consultations would no longer be limited to redundancies “at one establishment”, the judge ruling that these three words should be deleted from the legislation in order to comply with EC Directive.
John Hannett, Usdaw’s general secretary, is reported to have said: “It is particularly galling that the government lodged an appeal after not bothering to attend the EAT hearing. These were mass redundancy situations because the businesses were closing down and it is no fault of the individual workers how small the store was that they worked in.
If the government was succeeds in overturning the EAT’s decision to compensate the workers, the legal situation should revert to as it was before. In the meantime, the EAT’s decision still applies. We will update you further when it is known when the appeal will take place.