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UK Employment Rate and Compensation Increases Now in Effect

In case you have been distracted by other recent events in the UK, here is a reminder that the compensation limits on Employment Tribunal awards and certain other amounts payable under UK employment legislation increased as of the first week of April 2019.

This alert sets out the changes in full and highlights important consequences for employers.

Access the full article.

Brexit Update: UK Employment Law Implications

Don’t panic. The United Kingdom will continue to be an EU Member State until procedures are completed for exiting the European Union, which is likely to be at least two years. Until a withdrawal agreement is reached, EU laws and treaties will still apply, including the right for EU nationals to work in the United Kingdom. This means that all current EU-derived employment laws should remain in place for at least two years.

Read the full article.

Collective Redundancy Consultation: European Court Judgment is Good News for UK Employers


UK legislation provides that, when a UK employer proposes to make redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less, the employer is required to collectively consult representatives of those affected, prior to implementing that proposal. Failure to do so can lead to the employer being required to pay up to 90 days’ pay to each affected employee (a Protective Award).

In 2013, when considering the lawfulness of the collective redundancy process carried out by Woolworths in the throes of its closure, the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal caused havoc by deciding that the words “at one establishment” should be deleted from the legislation.

The deletion meant that, in order to avoid liability for a Protective Award, an employer proposing make 20 or more redundancies, anywhere in their UK business, within the relevant timeframe, needed to collectively consult about those proposals, no matter how geographically disparate and wholly unconnected the proposed dismissals might be.


The Court of Appeal, thinking that this really could not be right, asked the European Court for a preliminary ruling on the issue.

The way the European system works is that an Advocate General (AG) first considers the question and then delivers his opinion. The European Court then uses the AG’s opinion to assist it in coming up with its Judgment. The European Court can disagree with the AG, but it usually follows the AG’s recommendation.

In this case, the AG decided that, in his opinion, the term “establishment” in UK legislation means the local employment unit to which the relevant workers are assigned to carry out their duties.

European Court Decision

On April 30, 2015, the European Court confirmed that the trigger for collective redundancy consultation is a situation where, within a 90 day period, an employer proposes to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment, as opposed to anywhere within its UK business, as had been suggested by the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The court’s decision therefore narrows the instances in which employers will be required to collectively consult about proposed redundancies in the United Kingdom. The focus will now return to how many redundancies are proposed at each establishment within the UK business over the 90 day period. Whether or not a particular site or office qualifies as an establishment for collective redundancy purposes will be determined by the familiar tests used previously.

UK Employment Seminar: HOW TO…Deal with Maternity Dilemmas

Juggling maternity rights and practical employment issues can be notoriously difficult, and has the potential to make what should be a happy event seem rather daunting, for both employer and employee.

We see the same questions arise time and again on some particularly thorny maternity topics, including HOW TO:

  • Deal with bonus, commission and holiday entitlement during maternity leave, in a way that is lawful and fairly balances the interests of the new mother, the rest of the team and the business
  • Handle flexible working requests and the right to return to work (including what to do if you would prefer to keep the maternity cover)
  • Conduct a redundancy exercise when employees on maternity leave are among those “at risk”

In this session, we will give you pragmatic and straightforward answers to these issues, and other, tricky questions, along with practical tips on how to navigate your way through the issues.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
8:45 am – Registration and breakfast
9:00 – 10:15 am – Employment seminar and discussion

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP
110 Bishopsgate
London EC2N 4AY

To register for the event, click here.

UK Employment Alert No 206: How to Terminate Employment and Exercise a Payment in Lieu of Notice Clause

by Sharon Tan and Paul McGrath

The UK Supreme Court has provided guidance about two issues of importance for employers wishing to dismiss a UK employee: 

What happens when an employer dismisses an employee in a manner that breaches the terms of the employee’s employment contract?  Is the employment relationship immediately brought to an end despite the employer’s breach, or does it continue?

If an employer wishes to rely on a payment in lieu of notice (PILON) clause, is it enough simply to make the payment of money required by the PILON clause, or is something more required?

To read the full article, click here.