Pujante Rivera v Gestora Clubs DIR SL C-422/14; (2016) EMPLR 007
European Court of Justice
In the UK, employers have to consult employee representatives or recognised trade unions if they propose 20 or more redundancies within a three month period. In this Spanish case, the European Court of Justice holds that making significant changes to the essential elements of an employee’s employment contract for reasons not related to that employee falls within the definition of ‘redundancy’ and so counts towards the total number of redundancies when determining whether the requirement to consult collectively applies.
Ten employees were made redundant. An 11th employee (‘X’) was told that her salary would be reduced by 25%. Following conciliation, the employer agreed to terminate that 11th employee’s employment.
The redundancies were challenged on the ground that the employer had failed to consult collectively. Whether EU law required the employer to consult collectively depended on whether X was redundant.
The Court of Justice held that a unilateral, significant change to the essential elements of an employment contract for reasons not related to the individual employee falls within the definition of ‘redundancy’. Therefore X’s ‘redundancy’ counted for the purposes of determining whether collective consultation was required.
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