Oracle CAC/EAT case: consultation before implementing decision not necessary

Body: Oracle European Works Council

Company: Oracle

Type: articles and documentation

Date: 31/07/2019

Reference language: English

Notes: From PlanetLabor: "Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected the appeal from the European Works Council at Oracle, against an initial decision made on 12 February (see article n°10566) by the UK’s Central Arbitration Committee. The judgement confirms that a company’s management does not need to wait for the EWC to give its opinion before beginning to implement plans at a local level. This decision has been made in the light of the subsidiary requirements laid down by UK law, which governed the EWC in question." (PlanetLabor) Oracle's EWC is based on subsidiary requirements. The case was first handled by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). The CAC rejected the EWC’s complaint, ruling that the tech corporation’s management did not need to wait for the EWC to give its opinion before beginning to implement plans at a local level. The EWC appealed the decision, highlighting that with its ruling the CAC had not applied the provisions of directive 2009/38, under which the management must take into account the EWC’s opinion before making its decision, while pointing out that the transposition into UK legislation was not sufficiently precise on the matter. (...) the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirmed the CAC’s interpretation, according to which “there is no obligation on the employer to await an opinion from the EWC before taking and implementing a decision”, when the employer has satisfied their information and consultation obligations. In the EAT’s view, the consultation period ends after the consultation meeting, provided the consultation has been conducted in good faith, while the applicable law does not oblige the EWC to issue an opinion. In line with the decision of the CAC, the judges confirm that the company did not respect its obligation as regards information and consultation in exceptional circumstances, by failing to hold the second meeting requested by staff representatives after the telephone meeting. In the employer’s view, the latter was supposed to be both an information and consultation meeting, but the CAC stressed that “information” and “consultation” are not a “single all-at-the-same-time event”. Sources: Planet Labor, 26 August 2019, n°11314 – UK Employee Relations Bulletin, 2 March 2018 - Issue 3. European Employers Group Update - 22 February, 2018.