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26/10/2006

Transport General & Workers Union v. Brauer Coley Ltd

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Employment Appeal Tribunal

Where a trade union obtained a protective award under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 s.188(1B)(a) against an employer who had failed to consult before making collective redundancies, other employees also made redundant but in respect of whom the union was not recognised were not entitled to the benefit of that protective award.

The appellant trade union (T) appealed against a decision of an employment tribunal that it could only bring a claim for a protective award under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 s.188(1B)(a) in respect of employees for whom it was recognised. T had been the recognised union for employees in the shop floor engineering section of the respondent company (B). B had gone into administration and as a result many employees had been dismissed as redundant. B had not consulted with T about the redundancies as required under s.188(1B)(a) of the Act. T therefore succeeded in its claim to the employment tribunal under s.189(c) of the Act for a protective award of 90 days pay for those shop floor employees. However, the tribunal refused T's application for an order extending the protective award to other employees made redundant at the same time but who worked in a different section in respect of which T was not recognised. T submitted that a union could bring claims for protective awards not only for those employees in respect of whom the union was recognised, but also for other employees dismissed as redundant on the same day because once the tribunal had made findings of fact leading to the making of a protective award, it could subsequently be accessed by all the employees who had been made redundant.

HELD: (1) A protective award could only be made in favour of employees who had been made redundant and in respect of whom a complaint had been proved under s.189(1) of the Act. In the instant case that had been by reference to s.189(1)(c) of the Act, which specified the complaint that a trade union could make in respect of failures to consult its representatives. By contrast, s.189(1)(a) and (b) of the Act concerned complaints in respect of failures to consult non-union recognised employees. In the instant case, no breach had been alleged or proved under s.189(1)(a) and (b). Accordingly, the benefit of the protective award would not extend to those other employees in respect of whom the union was not recognised. (2) There would be no difficulty in a claim under s.189(1) of the Act being made simultaneously by a trade union under s.189(1)(c) and individual employees under s.189(1)(a) and (b). (3) Permission to appeal was granted.
Appeal dismissed.

[2007] IRLR 207
COLLECTIVE REDUNDANCIES, EMPLOYEE CONSULTATION, PROTECTIVE AWARDS, TRADE UNIONS, REDUNDANCY.

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