Taking the decision to make staff redundant is never easy. Especially when circumstances rather than preference dictates.
Unfortunately, in the current climate, more and more businesses are being faced with the realisation that streamlining and reducing their workforce is the only way forward. In fact, a recent survey of 300 employers by People Management and CIPD found that one in four UK employers expect to make permanent redundancies because of the coronavirus crisis.
The scale of the problem is also resulting in the decision that collective as well as individual redundancies must be implemented.
When planning redundancies on any scale it is important to remember that you are dealing with people and their livelihoods. Careful, sensitive management is as important as meeting the criteria set out to protect them and you. However, there are strict guidelines to follow.
If you are considering making redundancies within your organisation it is important to understand the difference and implications between individual and collective, as failing to follow the correct procedure could result in charges and a hefty fine. Even when making fewer than 20 redundant it is good practice to fully consult employees and their representatives to protect against claims of unfair dismissal.
In both cases there are requirements to meet with candidates on an individual basis. Each affected member of staff must be consulted regarding the reasons they may be made redundant and a proposed timescale for the process. An ongoing dialogue between parties should be retained to answer queries, discuss the situation and, if possible, alternative employment.
When 20 to 99 staff are to be made redundant from the same establishment in a period of 90 days (or less) the collective redundancy process would need to be implemented – at least 30 days before anyone’s job ends (45 days if 100 or more staff are being made redundant).
This includes that, as well as going through the actions required for individual process, you need to make sure that employees are officially represented.
This can be by:
- Trade unions
- Elected representatives from employees group
- Elected representatives to form a new employees group
As an employer you need to supply the representative with written details of the reasons, details of why redundancies are being made, who and how many people will be chosen, how redundancy payments will be worked out and the timeline that will be put in place.
As well as following all of these stages you must also notify the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) before a consultation starts.
If you are thinking about making employees redundant or need support with HR issues Attwells can help. Please call Lloyd Clarke today on 01206 239761.
Our lawyer’s understand that making any employee redundant is unfavourable. In addition to the concern that any mishandled redundancy could lead to an unfair dismissal claim. Here at Attwells, we provide employment law advice to all types of business owners from SME’s to large global companies. You can call Attwells today and speak to one of our expert lawyers and we will explain how we can assist you through this process, with jargon-free language.