MSF v Refuge Assurance Plc, United Friendly Insurance: EAT 15 Feb 2002

EAT The EAT considered the employer’s duties to consult on making redundancies. The ET had found that company had satisfied the requirements. The Union argued that the duty to consult arose as soon as redundancies were contemplated.
Held: The Union’s appeal failed. There was no error of law. What counted as ‘good time’: ‘is not a good time before it is contemplated that the redundancies will begin but ‘in good time with a view to reaching agreement’. The employer should ask how long it would take to reach agreement with the union, and then work back that extent from the date on which decisions might be made, to find the date on which consultations should begin.

The Honourable Mr Justice Lindsay (President)
EAT/1371/99, [2002] UKEAT 1371 – 99 – 1502, [2002] IRLR 324, [2002] ICR 1365
Bailii, EATn
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1996 188, Directive 98/59/EC
England and Wales
See AlsoMSF v Refuge Assurance Plc and Another EAT 19-Feb-2001
The Union complained of inadequate consultation by the company on its making redundancies, and now appealed form a decision that the section had not been breached. . .
FollowedRegina v British Coal and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry ex parte Vardy QBD 1993
Glidewell LJ considered the significance of the difference between the wording of the EC Directive, and the section implementing it and said: ‘In my view the difference between the wording of the Directive and the wording of section 188 of the Act . .
CitedDansk Metalarbejderforbund And Specialarbejderforbundet I Danmark v H Nielsen and Son, Maskinfabrik A/S, In Liquidation. ECJ 12-Feb-1985
Europa The termination by workers of their contract of employment following an announcement by the employer that he is suspending payment of his debts cannot be treated as dismissal by the employer for the . .
CitedHough and Apex v Leyland DAF Ltd EAT 1991
EAT The employer requested a report as to contracting out their security arrangements in late 1996. The recommendation to contract out came in January 1997. After enquiries in May, a second report repeated the . .
CitedGriffin v South West Water Services Ltd 1995
The court asked at what point the European Directive imposed a duty to consult on an employer contemplating redundancies.
Held: The words ‘is contemplating’ referred to a point before proposals were formulated. Obiter, Blackburne J said ‘the . .
CitedRegina v British Coal Corporation and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry ex parte Vardy and Others QBD 1993
British Coal Corporation had decided to close 31 deep mine collieries. The court was asked as to just what consultation obligations fell on the employer under the 1946 Act.
Held: The section did create an obligation to consult. Glidewell LJ, . .
CitedIn Re Hartlebury Printers Ltd 1992
Insolvency, at least per se, does not amount to a special circumstance exempting an employer from consulting employees on redundancy. Morritt J noted the distinction in the Directive between contemplated and projected redundancies and section 99 to . .
CitedAssociation of Patternmakers and Allied Craftsmen v Kirvin Ltd EAT 1978
The court discussed the punitive nature of a protective award made where a company failed to consult on redundancies: ‘A Tribunal, however, is specifically enjoined to determine the [protected] period and so the amount of the award by paying regard . .
CitedScotch Premier Meat Ltd v Stuart Burns and others EAT 28-Apr-2000
EAT Redundancy – Definition . .
CitedE Green and Sons (Castings) Ltd v ASTMS EAT 1984
Nolan J considered the sub-section and the disclosure requirements on a consultation: ‘Flexibility in the course of consultation is obviously desirable, but the consultation envisaged by s. 99 cannot begin until the employer has provided the . .
CitedLord Advocate v Babcock and Wilcox (Operations) Ltd HL 15-Mar-1972
. .
CitedLord Advocate v Babcock and Wilcox (Operations) Ltd HL 15-Mar-1972
. .
CitedRockfon A/S v Specialarbejderforbunde I Danmark Acting for Nielsen and Others ECJ 17-Jan-1996
The term ‘establishment’ for the purpose of consultation on contemplated redundancies meant the work unit to which the relevant workers were assigned: ‘The term ‘establishment’ appearing in Article 1(1)(a) of Directive (75/129/EEC) must therefore be . .
CitedBarley v Amey Roadstone Corporation Ltd (No.2) EAT 1978
The EAT upheld an Industrial Tribunal decision that individual depots at which employees were made redundant were each separate establishments, rather than forming one grouping for the purposes of the duty to consult under s.99 of the Employment . .
CitedHamish Armour (Receiver of Barry Staines Ltd) v ASTMS 1979
Where an employer is contemplating making collective redundancies, it may be appropriate to disclose the information required under a confidentiality agreement. In order to demonstrate a ‘special circumstances’ defence an employer must show . .
CitedBarratt Developments (Bradford) Ltd v UCATT EAT 1978
The Industrial Tribunal had been entitled to conclude that 14 separate construction sites linked by telephone to the Company’s headquarters constituted one establishment for the purpose of redundancy consultation with the trade union under Part IV . .

Cited by:
CitedUK Coal Mining Ltd v National Union of Mineworkers (Northumberland Area) and Another EAT 27-Sep-2007
The employer appealed against a protective award made for failing to consult the union on prospective redundancies.
Held: The appeal failed. The duty to consult arose as soon as the redundancies were fixed as a clear, even if there had been . .
CitedSecuricor Omega Express Ltd v GMB (A Trade Union) EAT 7-Apr-2003
EAT The company decided to close two branches and make redundancies. They presented the closure itself as a fait accompli to the union representatives. The Tribunal found that this involved a failure to consult . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.168520