Collective consultation – update on the P&O case

Caroline Cobain
Caroline Cobain
Legal Director
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You may have seen in the news back in Spring 2022 that P&O made mass redundancies from its workforce.  On 1 April, the Insolvency Service then announced that it had begun formal criminal and civil investigations into the circumstances surrounding these mass redundancies which took place without notice or consultation.

The Insolvency Service has now confirmed that there will be no criminal action against P&O Ferries in respect of those redundancies, to the disappointment of the employees who were dismissed, and Nautilus, the trade union representing seafarers.  We understand that a civil investigation into the actions of P&O Ferries is still ongoing.

Whilst no criminal action is being taken, and whilst the full detail of the P&O situation has not been publicly shared, the case, and the public uproar that followed, serves as a timely reminder of the need for employers to consider at an early stage whether proposals being contemplated (whether in relation to proposed redundancies or large scale changes to terms and conditions) give rise to particular consultation obligations.

In the vast majority of cases, individual consultation with employees will be required, but where 20 or more employees are potentially affected by proposed changes, more onerous collective consultation obligations may also arise.

If you are proposing redundancies, or changes to terms and conditions, which affect a group of employees, or if you have any other questions regarding this update, please do not hesitate to contact Just Employment Law for support and guidance on 0141 331 5150 or by email at

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Lauren Wilson red arrowSenior Solicitor
Louise Walker red arrowLegal Director
Caroline Cobain red arrowLegal Director
David McRae red arrowManaging Director
David Reid red arrowDirector
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