Clough & Willis Solicitors, Commercial and private legal services UK

Redundancy

Do you have a genuine redundancy situation?  This is not always an easy question to answer.

Redundancy will generally arise from three principle changes to a business

  • the closure of a business
  • the closure of a site
  • the removal of a particularly role or a reduction in the number of people required to carry out a certain type of role.

Redundancy is often thought low risk and straight forward - in reality that is not true. It can be complex and often involves the consideration of a number of variables to aviod a finding of unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. 

An employer should therefore take time to go through a process that ensures true consultation occurs. Employers often fall into the trap of first confirming a decision and only then carrying out what they believe to be a consultation process.

The procedure to be followed will depend on the type of redundancy and the numbers involved.

For example:

1.  If an employer is proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant they must adhere to the collective consultation process.

  • This often requires the employees to elect representatives with whom an employer must consult.
  • Consultation must be carried out over a minimum number of days depending on the number of employees proposed to be made redundant.

This is a highly regulated area and notoriously complex.  The price for failure to adhere to the correct procedure is high (i.e. up to 13 weeks gross pay for each individual employee affected). However, collective consultation is not a replacement for individual employee consultation.  Fairness to the individual is the requirement for a fair dismissal.

2.   Where there are less than 20 employees which an employer is proposing to make redundant they will need to consider:

  • is there a pool of employees from which to select? 
  • which employees will be included in the pool?
  • the process of how an employer will select from the pool
  • does the employer have any suitable alternative roles for those that are made redundant?

An employer must also be alive to the issue of "bumping” - that is where an employee is moved into another employee's position with the consequence of that 2nd employee being made redundant. The Tribunal will expect an employer to consider all options including the possibility of bumping.

We have extensive experience in dealing with all types of redundancy situations. We can guide you through each step of the process including attending on site to assist you and help explain the process to staff.

If you are considering making redundancies please do not hesitate to contact  me Amy Ross-Sercombe, on freephone 0800 083 0815 or by email amy.ross-sercombe@clough-willis.co.uk 



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