Round Up – Key cases and developments to look out for

Print this page Email a link to this page

USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd (in administration) and another (the “Woolworths case”)

The Woolworths case changed the law on collective consultation in redundancies of 20 or more employees when the EAT ruled that the words “at one establishment” in TULRCA 1992 are to be disregarded.  This meant that employees working in Woolworths stores where fewer than 20 employees were employed had the right to be consulted.

The government was allowed to appeal the EAT decision to the Court of Appeal who then referred the matter to the ECJ. USDAW has reported that the Advocate General’s opinion on the meaning of “at one establishment” is due on 5 February 2015.


United States of America v Nolan [2010] EWCA Civ 1223 and United States of America v Nolan (No.2) [2014]

When does the obligation to consult collectively arise? The Court of Appeal is to decide whether it is:

a) when an employer is proposing to make a strategic business or operational decision that will foreseeably lead to collective redundancies; or

b) only once the employer has made that strategic decision and is proposing consequential redundancies


Family friendly rights

As of 5 April 2015 the following changes will come into force.

  • the new shared parental leave scheme will be available to parents (of children born or placed for adoption with them on or after 5 April 2015);
  • removal of the requirement for 26 weeks’ service before employees become entitled to adoption leave, introduction of a new right for adopters to attend adoption appointments together with protection against suffering a detriment in relation to exercising that right;
  • the extension of the existing unpaid parental leave regime to parents of children aged between five and 18;
  • the extension of current rights to adoption leave to individuals fostering a child under the “Fostering for Adoption” scheme run by local authorities; and
  • couples who are adopting a child from outside the UK to benefit from the right to shared parental leave and pay.

In our recent Shared Parental Leave webinars Frances Cameron (Associate Solicitor) and Lisa Kelly (Solicitor) from our Employment Team discuss the Shared Parental Leave scheme.  They focus on how it will work in practice. Click on the links below to watch:

For more information, help or advice on Employment law issues please contact Tim Davies on 0191 211 7927.