If your business is downsizing, losing money or it is simply no longer profitable to keep existing numbers of staff, it is likely that redundancies will need to be made. If that is the case, seeking specialist legal advice from a team of expert solicitors is advised.
It is critical that employers handle business reorganisations and redundancies in an ordered and structured way. Dealing with redundancies correctly will help to avoid unnecessary disruption and minimise the prospect of costly and time-consuming disputes and Employment Tribunal claims.
We suggest that employers follow a clear process when it comes to handling redundancies.
- Consider alternative options - can redundancies be avoided by ending overtime, retraining staff, offering voluntary redundancy or early retirement, and so on.
- Be prepared - if you have no other option, your business will need to make a plan for how to legally and fairly carry out the redundancies.
- Speak to management staff - inform any management staff of the upcoming changes and how their support may be needed and vice versa.
- Talk to your staff - your business is legally required to ‘consult meaningfully’ with your staff, including listening to any alternative suggestions they may have. Failing to do this could lead to cases of unfair dismissal by the ruling of an Employment Tribunal.
- Carefully choosing redundancies - it is important that during this process you select the employees you will make redundant in a fair and objective manner..
- Giving notice - it is crucial you give appropriate notice to all staff members and it is important to remember your staffs' notice period rights.
- Redundancy appeals - if you fail to offer a right of appeal then that may make the redundant employee's dismissal unfair..
- Planning for the future - lastly, it is important to show your remaining staff that the redundancies had a positive effect on the business's future and communicate any plans for the future.
It is important that throughout the entire process, your business handles redundancies in a legal and fair manner, ensuring that the risk of an Employment Tribunal is kept to the absolute minimum.
On What Grounds Can and Can’t I Make a Redundancy?
There are several grounds on which your business is entitled to make redundancies, including:
- Your businesses ceases to exist
- You are shutting down your business within a certain location
- You no longer need employees for a particular job
- There is not enough work for the number of staff you have
How Does My Business Select Candidates to Make Redundant?
When it comes to making redundancies, companies cannot simply pick and choose employees at random and must avoid targeting individuals or discriminating against certain people. Instead, your business must 'pool' relevant employees together and then objectively score those employees prior to deciding which employees will be provisionally selected for redundancy.
When making a redundancy, your business has a legal duty to consider if there are other roles or vacancies that the redundant employee can take on. If an alternative role within the company or an associated company can be found then consideration should be given to offering that alternative role to the redundant employee. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the role the employee's acceptance of it may be subject to a statutory trial period lasting four weeks.
If an employee rejects an offer of alternative employment, the consequences of them doing so will depend on whether the alternative employment was suitable and whether their rejection of it was reasonable.
Do I Need to Offer Redundancy Pay?
Employees that have been working for the business for two years or more are entitled (as a minimum) to receive a statutory redundancy payment. The amount payable will be dependent upon the following:
- Any contractual agreements
- Length of employment
- Current salary
How We Can Help
Our solicitors work closely with businesses across the UK in order to plan and smoothly manage their business reorganisation and redundancy processes. We use our expertise and detailed understanding of this often complex area of the law to assist businesses with:
- Identifying the correct redundancy pools
- Establishing robust and effective selection criteria
- Handling individual and/or collective redundancy consultations
- Enhanced redundancy packages and settlement agreements
- Dealing with appeals and redundancy based unfair dismissal claims
- Redundancy handling training
Redundancy Procedure Training
We regularly provide redundancy handling training into businesses and organisations and can tailor our courses to meet your individual needs and requirements. Get in touch to find out more about our employment law training services.
Talk To Us
Whether you are looking for advice or assistance with certain aspects of the procedure, we can help you and your business. Call our redundancy solicitors at our Sheffield, Leeds or York offices on 0333 323 5292 or complete the form below and we will be in touch.
Get in Touch
With Lupton Fawcett on your side, you're taking control. Contact us today.