A consultation on reforming the rules for consulting staff about large scale redundancies goes on until 19 September.
Employers must consult with the appropriate representatives of affected employees where they are proposing make 20 or more redundancies at a single establishment within 90 days or less (section 188, Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992).
Where the proposal is to dismiss 100 or more employees, the consultation period currently set out in the legislation is 90 days but if the proposal is to dismiss less than 100 employees than the required period is at least 30 days.
The consultation seeks views on proposals to reducing the 90-day minimum period for collective redundancies of more than 100 staff to 45 or 30 days.
The Government believes that this change will allow employers to restructure more quickly, and save them administrative and wage costs and that there would be greater certainty for employees and a less marked impact on morale and productivity.
The consultation also proposes a new, non-statutory, Code of Practice to address a number of key issues affecting redundancy consultations including the meaning of "establishment".
If there is support for the proposals the Government has said it would seek to introduce these in Spring 2013.
Source: BIS - Collective Redundancies: consultation on changes to the rules (June 2012)