When to begin consultation
You must not decide on any redundancies before holding collective consultation.
There should be enough time to consult employees and their representatives, and include any of their suggestions you agree to.
You must start consultation for:
- 20 to 99 redundancies – at least 30 days before
- 100 or more redundancies – at least 45 days before
It's a good idea to start earlier wherever possible, to make sure you meet consultation requirements.
How long consultation lasts
There are no rules for how long consultation must last. But you should check if you have a policy or agreement in place that does have rules.
It can last longer than the minimum periods listed above if it's a large or complicated redundancy situation.
You do not need to reach agreement to end consultation. But to reduce the risk of unfair dismissal claims, you need to show that the consultation was genuine and that you aimed to reach agreement.
You must be able to show that you've listened to your employees and that you responded to questions and suggestions.
Consulting individual employees
You should hold collective consultation first before holding individual consultation.
You may need to be flexible about how you arrange consultation, as there may be situations when you need to run collective and individual consultations at the same time.
In this situation, it may be appropriate to start individual consultation with the affected employees.