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The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Duty of employer to consult representatives of employees

216.—(1) Where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less, the employer shall consult about the dismissals all the persons who are appropriate representatives of any of the employees who may be so dismissed.

(2) The consultation shall begin in good time and in any event—

(a)where the employer is proposing to dismiss 100 or more employees as mentioned in paragraph (1), at least 90 days, and

(b)otherwise, at least 30 days,

before the first of the dismissals takes effect.

(3) For the purposes of this Article the appropriate representatives of any employees are—

(a)employee representatives elected by them, or

(b)if the employees are of a description in respect of which an independent trade union is recognised by the employer, representatives of the trade union,

or (in the case of employees who both elect employee representatives and are of such a description) either employee representatives elected by them or representatives of the trade union, as the employer chooses.

(4) The consultation shall include consultation about ways of—

(a)avoiding the dismissals,

(b)reducing the numbers of employees to be dismissed, and

(c)mitigating the consequences of the dismissals,

and shall be undertaken by the employer with a view to reaching agreement with the appropriate representatives.

(5) In determining how many employees an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant no account shall be taken of employees in respect of whose proposed dismissals consultation has already begun.

(6) For the purposes of the consultation the employer shall disclose in writing to the appropriate representatives—

(a)the reasons for his proposals,

(b)the numbers and descriptions of employees whom it is proposed to dismiss as redundant,

(c)the total number of employees of any such description employed by the employer at the establishment in question,

(d)the proposed method of selecting the employees who may be dismissed,

(e)the proposed method of carrying out the dismissals, with due regard to any agreed procedure, including the period over which the dismissals are to take effect,

(f)the proposed method of calculating the amount of any redundancy payments to be made (otherwise than in compliance with an obligation imposed by or by virtue of any statutory provision) to employees who may be dismissed.

(7) That information shall be given to each of the appropriate representatives by being delivered to them, or sent by post to an address notified by them to the employer, or (in the case of representatives of a trade union) sent by post to the union at the address of its head or main office.

(8) The employer shall allow the appropriate representatives access to the employees whom it is proposed to dismiss as redundant and shall afford to those representatives such accommodation and other facilities as may be appropriate.

(9) If in any case there are special circumstances which render it not reasonably practicable for the employer to comply with a requirement of paragraph (2), (4) or (6), the employer shall take all such steps towards compliance with that requirement as are reasonably practicable in those circumstances.

(10) Where the decision leading to the proposed dismissals is that of a person controlling the employer (directly or indirectly), a failure on the part of that person to provide information to the employer shall not constitute special circumstances rendering it not reasonably practicable for the employer to comply with any of those requirements.

(11) Where—

(a)the employer has invited any of the employees who may be dismissed to elect employee representatives, and

(b)the invitation was issued long enough before the time when the consultation is required by paragraph (2)(a) or (b) to begin to allow them to elect representatives by that time,

the employer shall be treated as complying with the requirements of this Article in relation to those employees if he complies with those requirements as soon as is reasonably practicable after the election of the representatives.

(12) This Article does not confer any rights on a trade union, a representative or an employee except as provided by Articles 217 to 220.

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