A Redundancy Guide for Employers

Julian cole portrait.

Julian Cole

Senior Solicitor

Phone 01264 353411

Email jcole@bsandi.co.uk

This article provides a brief overview regarding the process of redundancy, for employers of 20 people or less. Employers, who have more than 20 employees or have a collective bargaining agreement in force, should seek advice on further statutory consultation obligations. We do advise that all employers looking to make redundancies should seek in-depth legal advice regarding their particular circumstances, as this article is for general guidance purposes and does not cover all eventualities.

Where redundancy is being considered, employers should give as much warning as possible to employees.  Consultations with employees should follow regarding the risk of redundancy and adequate information should be given, along with a timescale for a response to be given to the proposal.

Firstly, the employer will need to hold a staff meeting, to enable them to notify the staff of the reasons for redundancy, the number of employees expected to be dismissed, the employees at risk and the consultation period.  They should also inform the employees who will be involved in the process, the selection criteria to be used, the timetable for the process and their right to appeal against the decision at the end of the process.  Any opportunities for re-deployment should also be set out.  The meeting should also identify the employees who will have individual consultations.  Employees should also be advised of any further open staff meetings throughout the process.

Following up on the initial meeting, letters should be sent to the individual employees, confirming their risk of redundancy.  The letter should identify the options available to the employee and could include; voluntary redundancy; redeployment or redundancy compensation.  The letter should also invite the employee to a further meeting to be consulted on an individual basis about the proposed redundancy.  The employee also needs to be advised that they are permitted to bring a work colleague or Trade Union Representative, along to the meeting.

Thereafter, a further staff meeting should be held, at which the employees are given details of the assessments which will follow.

A fair selection process should be carried out by the employer before they reach their decision on whether to make the employee redundant.  This would include consideration as to whether there are any alternatives to redundancy which could include; restricting new recruitment, transferring the employee to other work, moving the affected employee to another site or considering reduced hours or job-sharing arrangements with other employees.

The employees should then be invited to a further meeting to discuss their selection or consider their alternatives to redundancy.

Following that meeting, the employer will then have to decide whether to make the employee redundant.  If redundancy is decided upon they will have to issue ‘Notices of Dismissal’ which will be either with notice or with a payment in lieu of notice.  The letter should also provide details on their right to appeal the decision.

Following a fair procedure will enable a potentially fair statutory reason for dismissal, which will prevent the employee from later alleging that they have been unfairly dismissed.

Seeking professional legal advice regarding all redundancy and employment issues is always advisable. Contact our litigation solicitor, Julian Cole, today, who will be happy to help discuss your particular circumstances. Call 01264 325805, email jcole@bsandi.co.uk or complete our free, no obligation enquiry form online and we will get back to you.

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