There is a legal duty on employers to inform and consult affected employees about proposals to make 20 or more redundancy dismissals at any one establishment within a period of 90 days or less. Consultation must take place at a 'formative' stage – certainly before the employer has decided to make the redundancies.
The duty is to consult with representatives. Where there is a recognised union, consultation must be with the union. It must take place at least 30 days before any dismissal notices for redundancy are issued. This rises to at least 45 days where 100 or more redundancies are involved.
A failure to comply with the statutory rules on collective consultation over redundancies can land your employer with a large penalty payment (called a ‘protective award’).
In addition, employers should consult employees who are affected by any proposed redundancy individually (not just in cases where 20 or more redundancies are proposed).