Almost a third of retailers do not fully understand the implications of the Woolworths case. Africa Studio
Bond Dickinson LLP and the British Retail Consortium have found in new research that almost a third of retailers do not fully understand the implications of the Woolworths case for their collective consultation obligations. The Woolworth case ruled that each Woolworths store was a separate establishment, so the obligation to consult collectively only arose in stores with more than 20 employees were to be made redundant. Because of this, employees in larger stores received large protective awards, whereas those working in smaller stores did not receive anything.
Retailers in the dark
The BRC-Bond Dickinson Retail Employment Monitor Q1 2014 comprised responses from retailers accounting for a third of the retail sector by turnover and employing 797,000. The research reveals that 38 per cent of retailers believe the case will have a negative impact on their businesses, while the remainder believe it will have a neutral or negligible impact. Christina Tolvas-Vincent, Head of Retail Employment at business law firm Bond Dickinson LLP, said in a statement: 'Given the potential financial exposure, it is of concern that many retailers have not considered the implications of the case or don't believe it will have a negative impact on them. It will have a major effect on companies and on HR and legal departments in particular, who will be keen to see the European Court of Justice change the law again when they clarify the meaning of an 'establishment' - though frankly this is unlikely.' Source: Press Release and Clyde&Co