I see that HM Government have upset the Trade Unions by appealing against the recent Woolworth’s decision.  In a surprise move an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has granted the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) the right to appeal against a decision that had provided compensation to workers when their employers failed to follow the proper consultation procedures in a collective redundancy situation.

Why is this important? Put simply, multi-site operations could not treat individual stores as separate entities for the purposes of collective redundancy negotiations.

Why is this bad for justice?  In the humble opinion of most commentators, the government did not not bother to attend the original appeal even though they knew the ruling would set a precedent for other Employment courts to follow.  Had they bothered to fight the EAT at the time, perhaps the cost of a further appeal would be saved.  In addition, certainty would have returned to employment law and a some 4000 workers would be able to move on after the trauma of redundancy.

UPDATE:

Unexpected changes to the law.  Christopher Mordue of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, commenting as the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) granted the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) leave to appeal the ruling reports “The Government is not guaranteed a “favourable outcome” in its appeal of a tribunal’s finding that consultation requirements under the collective redundancy rules were triggered when retailers made redundancies in multiple shops.

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