Redundancy talks time may be cut

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Plans to reduce the amount of time large firms are given to consult with staff over redundancies have been put forward by the Government.

Ministers launched a consultation on cutting the time period for discussions over job losses of at least 100, from 90 days to 45 or 30 days.

Ministers say they want a new code of practice to improve the quality of communication between managers and staff, but the TUC said there was no need to change arrangements.

Employment Relations Minister Norman Lamb said: “It’s clear that the current arrangements are not working in the best interests of either staff or managers.

“Our reforms are about improving the quality of consultations – this really is a case of quality over quantity. The call for evidence showed that the current arrangements are not fit for purpose for the modern labour market.”

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the 90-day consultation rules were working perfectly well. “Any reduction in the time period in which employers must consult with their workforce over potential job losses will make what is already a deeply unsettling time much more difficult for everyone involved.”

Tim Thomas of the manufacturers’ organisation EEF said: “We broadly welcome these proposals as the law in this area strongly favours employees and their representatives, which can lead to prolonged periods of uncertainty. This needs to be rebalanced.”