Update: Government will intervene in the ‘Meaning of Establishment’ case

redundancy - group of skittles one of which has fallenIn our August Newsletter and recent Newsflash (Important changes to collective consultation) we reported that in USDAW v Woolworths the EAT had ruled that an employer must now consult collectively whenever the planned redundancies or changes to terms and conditions affect 20+ employees across the whole of its UK business, turning on its head the long-understood meaning of the concept of “one establishment” in the legislation. We also reported that the EAT had granted the employer permission to appeal its controversial decision to the Court of Appeal. Now the EAT has granted the Secretary of State for Business permission to become involved in that appeal at the Court of Appeal stage, given the case’s very significant importance. The Secretary of State apologised for not having previously been involved in the case at EAT level, despite an invitation to do so, because he had “not appreciated” the decision’s “wide importance”.