Company directors could face prosecution if they break redundancy rules

WORKPLACE RIGHTS: Employers that flout redundancy procedures by failing to notify the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills risk criminal charges.

by Michael Burd and James Davies
Credit: Brian Turner/Flickr
Credit: Brian Turner/Flickr

Employers implementing 20 or more redundancies are legally required both to inform and consult employee representatives and notify the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) using form HR1.

Failure to notify BIS is a criminal offence, punishable by an unlimited fine and disqualification from acting as a director for up to 15 years. While prosecutions are extremely rare, an exception was recently made in the case of David Forsey, the chief executive of Sports Direct.

This followed a tribunal ruling of 'disgraceful and unlawful employment practices' by one of Sports Direct's subsidiaries when making workers redundant without consultation.

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