The Aerospace industry worldwide continues to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with thousands of aircraft grounded; thousands of furloughed employees and significantly less travel as the summer holidays continue to be affected by the constantly changing quarantine restrictions.

The last few months has seen aerospace manufacturers Boeing and Airbus along with airlines British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Tui Group and Ryanair have all announced job cuts for significant numbers of employees.

For the aviation manufacturing companies in particular, financial pressures, reduced order books and delayed projects mean that re-structuring and redundancy programmes  are now becoming a reality, as we are starting to see in the news, with Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick announcing that an additional 350 jobs are now at risk, in addition to the 300 redundancies made in June.

This also follows news from Safran Nacelles (Aircelle) in Burnley consulting its Burnley workforce on a proposed redundancy programme which could impact around 250 jobs.

These announcements understandably have an unsettling effect on aerospace industry employees.

If you are an aerospace employee affected or if you are an employee whose employer is re-structuring and/or you are faced with the threat of redundancy, it is crucial that you understand your legal position and the options available to you.

You should ensure you are aware of your entitlements, including notice pay and statutory redundancy pay. If you are unsure you should obtain the relevant documentation detailing your entitlements in such situations and the correct company procedures. A company may also have a contractual redundancy policy entitling you to enhanced payments.

Where a company proposes to make over 20 redundancies, collective consultation applies. Employers have specific steps and processes that it must adhere to. They are bound by law to follow procedures including regarding fair selection and consultation.

Understanding your legal position and options at an early stage may give you scope to protect your position at work or to negotiate an increased redundancy package.

Aerospace employees; who are affected by a re-structure which is not a compulsory redundancy situation may also find themselves:

  • Being consulted to vary their terms and conditions of employment (whether this is their role, responsibilities, pay; benefits, hours of work; shifts etc;);

  • Offered a Settlement Agreement (sometimes described as an exit, severance, termination, or enhanced redundancy package) as a measure to fast-track formal processes and consultations;

  • invited to make an application to be considered for voluntary redundancy;

  • unfairly treated or discriminated against and perhaps employees believe this is because of long term ill-health or sickness absence; pregnancy or maternity leave; or retirement/age;

  • subject to lay off, short-time working or furlough leave; or

  • transferred to another employer by way of TUPE (The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.

Farleys Solicitors specialise in all areas of HR and employment law for employees. If you require advice and assistance in relation to compulsory or voluntary redundancies; re-structures and re-organisations; variation of contracts of employment; Settlement Agreements (compromise agreements)/termination/ severance packages, furlough leave, lay off or short-time working; Employment Tribunal claim representation and/or in relation to the current Covid-19 / Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown please contact Farleys Employment Law & HR team on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.