The Government has published a consultation paper on proposed changes to the rules on collective redundancy consultation.
The government has said that its proposals will “revitalise” the rules on collective redundancy consultation. The proposed reforms are based around three objectives:
1. The 90-day minimum consultation period will be reduced to either 30 days for all collective redundancies, or 45 days for planned redundancies of 100 or more employees;
2. A new non-statutory Code of Practice to address key issues will be introduced. The Code will set out guidelines with sufficient flexibility for the parties to adapt them to their particular circumstances and to be able to take unexpected changes into account. It will cover several areas, including when the consultation should start; what the consultation should cover; who should be consulted; what should be discussed; how the consultation should be conducted; and how to conduct consultations in non-standard circumstances (e.g. business transfers and insolvencies); and
3. Existing government guidance will be reviewed to ensure that it is accurate and accessible by those who need it.
The consultation closes on 19 September 2012, and subsequent changes to the rules will apply to England, Wales and Scotland.