06 July 2015 #Employment
The EAT has upheld a decision of the Central Arbitration Committee that for the purposes of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (The ICE Regulations) an undertaking has to be a legal entity. “Undertaking” means a legal entity, namely the employer. There cannot be more than one undertaking within a single employer (Moyer Lee and others v Cofely Workplace Ltd).
It is very rare for cases under the ICE Regulations to come up.
The employee Appellants made a request under the ICE Regulations that their employer negotiate an agreement in respect of information and consultation of employees. To be valid, a request must be made by at least 10% of the employees in the undertaking. The Appellants comprised 28 employees (13%) of 210 employees allocated to a specific contract. The Respondent had 9,200 employees in total, of which the Appellants comprised 0.3%.
The Appellants argued that an undertaking did not have to be the employer and instead could constitute a distinct group of employees within the employer’s organisation. Any other interpretation, they argued, would lead to employees in large multi-site corporations, being deprived of any meaningful protection.
The CAC did not agree and held:
The EAT found that on the facts as found by the CAC Panel, the appeal could not succeed. A reference to European Court of Justice was refused.