In broad terms there are three main types of redundancy situation:
- Closure of the business as a whole
- Closure of the particular workplace where the employee is employed
- Reduction in the size of the workforce
When faced with the prospect of making staff redundant it is important to consider alternatives to redundancy where possible. If there is no alternative to redundancy then you should consider looking for volunteers.
If compulsory redundancy is inevitable it is absolutely vital that you follow a full and proper redundancy procedure. A succession of statutes – and a vast body of case law – has created an extensive list of duties for a business to fulfil when reducing the size of the workforce. A failure to follow the steps the law expects may make resulting dismissals unfair.
It is important to plan the process and consider the needs of the business – there must be a genuine redundancy situation.
You must consult with employees on an individual basis to consider such things as alternatives to redundancy. Where 20 or more employees are to be dismissed for redundancy you are required to consult with trade union or elected employee representatives as part of a collective consultation process. This can be a very tricky process and a failure to get it right can result in multiple claims for Protective Awards.
You must establish a fair selection procedure. This can include choosing an appropriate pool from which to select the redundant employees and to then apply objective selection criteria and score employees fairly. To avoid claims for unfair dismissal, this must be done properly.
You have a duty to look for alternative employment and offer any suitable available vacancies.
We can provide you with advice and guidance throughout the entire redundancy procedure.