Landmark ruling in the Woolworths case referred to CJEU
23rd January, 2014
Back in June 2013, we reported on the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s landmark decision in USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd (in administration) and another UKEAT/0547/12 that the words “in one establishment” should be disregarded.
When Woolworths and Ethel Austin became insolvent, each of their stores were treated as “one establishment”, therefore collective consultation only took place at the larger stores (with more than 20 employees). The EAT held that this approach did not reflect the purpose of the EU Directive and that an employer should not be able to avoid collective consultation by effectively scattering employees over different establishments within the UK. The words “at one establishment” should therefore be deleted to allow the whole of Woolworths and Ethel Austin respectively to be treated as one establishment and all employees (at any of their stores) who were at risk of redundancy within a 90 day period should have been collectively consulted with.
This was a landmark ruling for employment law which saw over 4,000 employees granted a protective award. Understandably, it was always likely that this decision would be appealed.
The appeal was heard in the Court of Appeal on 21 and 22 January 2014 and we have today received details that the Court of Appeal has referred the case to the CJEU.
We eagerly await further developments on this case.
For further information or advice in relation to collective consultation, please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected]
You might also be interested in...
16th November, 2018
It is reported that a quarter of all complaints dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman revolve around costs. Therefore to avoid complaints and confusion, it is important to be clear from the outset. The new Transparency Rules (which the SRA have now confirmed will come into effect on 6 December 2018) require that accurate and relevant information is... Read More »
5th November, 2018
Aaron & Partners LLP has once again seen improved rankings in The Legal 500 – a comprehensive guide... Read More »
10th October, 2018
In the lead up to World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2018, we have been posting a series of short articles discussing mental health and stress in the workplace. In this final article, we will be providing tips, to employers and employees, for managing stress and dealing with mental ill health in the workplace. Click here to... Read More »