Kwikfit and its union were in a dispute about the correct bargaining unit. CAC had suggested one unit, and Kwikfit sought JR on the grounds that CAC had to treat the views of the employer and union equally. CA held that the correct approach was for CAC to look at the bargaining unit suggested by the union and determine whether or not this was appropriate, taking into account the statutory considerations (see above), regardless of whether it is the ‘best’ or ‘optimal’ account. This prioritises the union’s proposal over that of the employer, so that if the union’s test is appropriate the CAC must accept it, regardless of whether there is a better proposal in existence. NB an application to CAC following rejection by the employer of recognition is made under para.11(a)(2) of Schedule 1. The statutory considerations under para.19 include consideration of the views of the employer and compatibility of the bargaining unit with effective management, but task of the CAC is not to shop around for alternative better or the ‘most appropriate) bargaining units.
Buxton LJ: “the statutory test is set at the comparatively modest level of appropriateness, rather than of the optimum or best possible outcome.”