Redundancy Advice for Employers
Redundancy is a complicated task and can be challenging for both employers and employees. When an employer is contemplating redundancies, they must follow the correct procedure to ensure that the employee is treated fairly and also to reduce the risk of an unfair dismissal claim being brought against them. These can be lengthy and costly court proceedings that are potentially incredibly damaging to the business. As such, expert legal advice must be sought to ensure that the process that is followed is legally sound.
Redundancy procedures should be well established, and tribunals will expect companies to have used a robust and transparent process. Our specialist employment lawyers can advise and guide employers through the whole redundancy procedure. We have a wealth of experience and will tailor our advice to the client's specific issues and requirements.
Considerations for employers in redundancy situations
An employee will be regarded as being made redundant where dismissal is due to either:
- The employer moving (or intending to move) their place of business.
- The employer ceasing (or intending to cease) the business within which the employee was employed. This can apply even where other parts of the business continue to operate.
- The employer has surplus staff and no longer needs the same number of employees to carry out the existing work, or the level of work has decreased. This situation can also arise if the employer has introduced technology that replaces the need for employees or changes the required skills.
The redundancy process
There are important issues that an employer must consider in relation to the redundancy process:
- Does the redundancy situation involve 20 or more employees? For collective redundancies, the business has further requirements to what is stated below.
- Does it relate to a single self-selecting position?
- Does it involve a team that does the same type of work?
What steps should be taken by an employer making redundancies?
When making redundancies, employers should follow these steps:
- Give employees sufficient warning of possible redundancy and that they may be affected. This should preferably be in writing and all employees that may be affected (including those off work for whatever reason) should be contacted.
- Where relevant (i.e., if it is not just one employee that will be affected), the employer must identify the potential pool for selection for redundancy. There can be several different pools if different areas of the business require a reduction of employees.
- The employer then needs to determine the redundancy selection criteria. This must not be discriminatory and it must be possible to assess and measure the criteria objectively.
- A meaningful and proper consultation process must be entered into with affected employees.
- The employer must ascertain if there is any suitable alternative employment and this should be offered if available.
- Written notice must be given to the employee setting out the reasons they have been selected for redundancy and discussing their rights to attend a meeting and to appeal.
Would a settlement agreement be appropriate?
It may be worth considering a settlement agreement as opposed to redundancy in some instances. These may require an additional payment to the employee but will protect the employer against any unfair dismissal claims in the future. Our employment lawyers can advise clients on the best route in their circumstances.
Contact our Redundancy Lawyers in the UK
Our expert employment lawyers can guide employers through the redundancy procedure to ensure that the correct processes are followed to achieve the best outcome. To find out more about how we can help you, please contact us today, complete the online enquiry form or email us at email@example.com.