Acas uses cookies to ensure we give you the best experience and to make the site simpler. Find out more about cookies.

Website URL :

Acas launches new guidance on collective redundancies

Saturday 06 April 2013

Workplace expert Acas has today published new guidance to help employers handle collective redundancies.

A collective redundancy is when an employer proposes to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days. This can arise if an employer needs to:

  • close or move all or part of their business
  • make cost savings due to a change in customer demand or an efficiency drive
  • reorganise the way their business is run.

On 6 April new government legislation came into effect which applies to employers proposing 100 or more redundancies. A key change is that employers must start consultation at least 45 days before any dismissals can take effect. This has been reduced from 90 days.

The new Acas guidance pdf icon Advisory booklet - Handling large-scale (collective) redundancies [521kb] will help employers understand their legal obligations and sets out the principles and behaviours behind a good quality consultation to help employers manage collective redundancies more effectively.

Acas Chair Ed Sweeney said:

"This new guidance draws on our knowledge, expertise and experience in helping to resolve the thousands of workplace disputes every year.

"In 2011/12 11 per cent of Acas' collective conciliation cases related to redundancies and of the 925,000 calls to our helpline, around 20 per cent were seeking information on redundancy-related situations.

"This guide will help employers and employees understand the recent changes and the new laws around collective redundancies with top tips on how to handle them."

Acas advises that for organisations to manage collective redundancies well and help ensure their future success, they need to have:

  • good working relationships with employees, unions and employee representatives
  • agreed procedures for handling redundancies
  • an organisational culture that recognises the emotional as well as economic impact of change
  • a plan for restructuring and looking to the future.

Notes to editors

  1. The consultation period for businesses that plan to make between 20 and 99 employees redundant remains unchanged. The consultation must start at least 30 days before any dismissals can take effect.
  2. Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.
  3. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced the changes to legislation on collective redundancy in their consultation response published on 18 December 2012 on GOV.UK - Consultation outcome Collective Redundancies: Consultation on changes to the rules.
  4. The Acas Helpline provides guidance for employers and employees on resolving employment disputes and understanding employment rights and rules. Advisers are available on 08457 47 47 47 from 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday.
  5. For media enquiries please contact Clare Carter/Shumon Rahman, PR and Media Manager (job share) on 0207 210 3688 or Alice Parkinson on 0207 210 3680. For out of hours media enquires, contact the duty press officer on 07825 691093.