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European Court of Justice confirms Woolworth's decision in Northern Ireland case

15 May 2015 #Employment


The European Court of Justice has confirmed its approach in the Woolworths case in a further judgment of the ECJ handed down this week in Lyttle and others v Bluebird UK Bidco 2 Ltd (C-182/13)

The issue in Lyttle, which was referred to the ECJ by the Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunal, was essentially the same as that considered in USDAW and another v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (in liquidation), Ethel Austin Ltd and another (C-80/14) (the "Woolworths" case), namely whether the word "establishment" in the Directive means the local unit of a business or the business as a whole . While not specifically referring to its earlier judgment inWoolworths, the ECJ clearly took the same approach, holding that "establishment" is the local unit or entity to which the redundant workers are assigned to carry out their duties.

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