It is always a difficult situation when an employer is faced with making employees redundant. When a redundancy situation arises it is important that employers carry out a fair and reasonable redundancy process.
What to bear in mind?
- Is this a genuine redundancy situation? This may be a business closure, a closure of one of the business’s offices or a restructuring that results in fewer employees being required for the same job role.
- Once you have established that there is a genuine redundancy situation you can then identify the employees who are at risk of redundancy and notify them of the potential risk;
- A proper consultation process must then take place. If you are proposing to make less than 20 employees redundant you can follow an individual consultation process. However, if you are proposing to make more than 20 employees redundant in less than a 90 day period then you must follow a collective redundancy consultation process.
- Are there any suitable alternative roles available within the company for the employees who are risk? Are there mobility clauses within the employee’s contracts which could mean their place of work could change?
- Deciding who to make redundant; this may involve carrying out a matrix table scoring exercise based on the employees’ performance, length of service and absence.
What are the pitfalls?
- A decision to terminate prior to end of consultation; redundancy should only be a certainty once the process has been completed.
- Discriminatory issues and unfair selection of employee; selecting an employee just because she is pregnant, or because of their religious belief, their sex or race will automatically make the redundancy unfair.
- Absent employees not notified; employees who are on maternity/paternity/adoption/ parental leave or are on sickness absence must be notified if they are at risk of redundancy and be taken through the process.
Need some advice?
Talk to Tollers! We are HeRe for you.
Tollers’ Employment Team are here to help should you have any queries regarding this article, do not hesitate to contact us on 01604 258558. We can help you to carry out a fair and legal process that will ultimately help you achieve the outcome that you want for your business, without giving you complicated legal advice, but by giving you practical advice that you can follow and always bearing in mind the commercial considerations facing your business.