Considering making a member of staff redundant?

Some advice for employers

Employers, particularly SMEs can be prone to making costly mistakes when it comes to making staff redundant.  This is largely due to a lack of awareness of the legal implications that govern redundancy.

This blogpost will hopefully provide employers with some key information to help their decision making process.

Redundancy is a process

There are many reasons why an employer may consider redundancy.  This may be due to financial reasons, a reduction in work, the need to change structure.  It is good practice for a business to consider their options prior to making a decision to make staff redundant.

Your next step is then to consider making a plan.  The following steps ideally need to be in place:

  • Brief your managers and outline any training or support needs that may be required
  • Consult your staff.  This is a legal requirement.
  • Choose the posts that need to be made redundant.  The key word is posts, not individual people.  Your approach needs to be fair and consistent with a clear decision making process.
  • A clear selection criteria for selecting the individuals that will be made redundant.
  • Giving notice of redundancy and pay.
  • Be mindful of rights during the notice period.  This is enable staff to look for alternative work.  If other vacancies come up within your organisation you may save on costs if there is an option for a member of staff facing redundancy to take up a new opportunity.
  • Allowing staff to appeal against the decision of redundancy.
  • Communicating the future business model to your staff.  If you have had to make people redundant, a plan to share with staff about the future of the business should help underline the rationale behind the redundancies and help show the future of the business in a positive light.

It is very important for employers to remember when they are considering redundancies that it is the actual position and not the person that is being made redundant.  Failing to get this principle right could lead to employment tribunal claims.

It is often a good idea to seek professional help from an Employment lawyer or HR consultant to ensure that the correct process is followed when considering redundancy within an organisation.

Useful information on the redundancy process can be found on the ACAS website.

 

 

 

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