April 3, 2014

Collective redundancy consultation applies to US military base in UK

This concerns whether or not the collective redundancy consultation requirement of section 188 of TULR(C)A applies to a US military base in the United Kingdom.

The Court of Appeal upheld the EAT decision that the relevant provision does not impliedly exempt foreign sovereign states from the obligation to consult on collective redundancies with their UK employees. The US had not chosen to claim state immunity, or to argue that there were special circumstances under section 188 (7) of TULR(C)A which made consultation over the decision to close a military base not reasonably practicable. The Court held that this defence would have inevitably succeeded.

A further hearing was ordered to decide a key point that arose in the case which had not been answered by the CGEU, namely whether the obligation to collectively consult arises when the employer is proposing to make a strategic or operational business decision that may lead to redundancies; or whether the obligation only arises once the employer has made that decision and is proposing redundancies as a consequence.

This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.

For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222

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