Establish: whether there is a genuine redundancy situation: is the business, or a particular department/site closing? Is there a genuine decrease in need or work for certain employees?
Plan: How and when do you want the redundancies to happen? How many? Ensure a clear list of steps/actions as part of your plan. Think about the long term as well – redundancy is supposed to be a measure to get your organisation back on track, so you should have a plan for how you’ll proceed following your redundancies.
Consider: the appropriate pool of employees if selection will be necessary and establish criterion for selection. Your criteria must be fair to your staff, be objective, and make sense according to your plan and how your business works. This can include relevant experience and skills, qualifications, job performance, and length of service.
Communicate: Talk to your staff. It’s important that they know about the situation in a reasonable amount of time. If fewer than 20 redundancies are being proposed then it will be necessary to follow a fair procedure in relation to each employee at risk of redundancy. Over 20 and you will need to carry out a collective consultation process.
An initial announcement regarding potential redundancies will be needed to anyone who may be affected, with any individuals also being entitled to one on one consultation meetings.
Propose: alternative measures. It’s important to ensure and show that you have explored any alternative cost saving measures before redundancy, such as pausing recruitment, reducing overtime, offering part time working or voluntary redundancies, for example.
Discuss: Any meetings should be used as a genuine open discussion with employees, who may come up with alternatives to redundancy which have not already been considered, and/or present ideas as to why they should not be made redundant.
Don’t forget about any employees who are pregnant or on any form of maternity, parental or sick leave as special rules will apply in these circumstances with redundancy.
Be sure to confirm any information given during meetings and any decisions in writing to affected employees.
Prepare: for appeals. If you have followed the correct legal advice you will have minimised the risk of a tribunal claim. However, a fair redundancy process generally includes the right for an employee to appeal any dismissal decision.
This is our whistle-stop tour of areas that will need to be considered by employers when considering redundancies, purely as an overview. Following the full redundancy process and taking specialist advice throughout will help to ensure that you fulfil all of your legal requirements as an employer. Contact our specialist employment team for a no obligation and confidential discussion of your options; by phone on 0845 287 0939 or by email through our contact form.