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Lancaster University lose Tribunal appeal – Implications for Leeds?

October 27, 2010

Lancaster University must now pay former members of staff 60 days’ salary after UCU won a legal battle over the institution’s failure to properly consult about their dismissals. The members of staff were  originally awarded the money in April last year, but the university decided to appeal against the ruling and now, more than two years after being made redundant, the staff members will finally receive the money owed to them.

The staff were on fixed-term contracts and UCU said today’s victory must act as a warning to other universities to treat fixed-term staff fairly. The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the original ruling from the Employment Tribunal that the university breached its statutory duty to consult with the union if planning to make 20 or more people redundant. Full story here. Read the full judgement here. Our colleagues at Lancaster UCU are online here.

Staff at Leeds will remember that last year the UCU here declared a dispute over failure to consult properly, and were disappointed that the VC announced in Senate that the University had fulfilled its legal obligations to consult. The victory of working people at Lancaster has direct implications for Leeds. Leeds UCU has been awaiting the outcome of the Lancaster appeal since it now establishes the case law upon which our own Employment Tribunal case depends. We call on the university to now settle with our members along the lines of the Lancaster settlement.

Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 states: Where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less, the employer shall consult about the dismissals all the persons who are appropriate representatives of any of the employees who may be affected by the proposed dismissals or may be affected by measures taken in connection with those dismissals.

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