Redundancy can take many forms - from the closure of a business or site to the removal of a particular person in a particular unique role.
The procedure to be adopted in a redundancy situation greatly depends on the type of redundancy situation and the numbers involved.
If 20 or more employees are proposed to be made redundant you are required to adhere to the provisions regarding collective consultation. This often requires the employees to elect representatives with whom you must consult. Consultation must be carried out over a minimum number of days depending on the number of employees proposed to be made redundant.
The rules in this area are notoriously complex and the price for failure to adhere to them is high (i.e. up to 13 weeks gross pay for each individual employee affected). It should also be remembered that collective consultation is not a replacement for consultation with individuals - fairness to the individual remains a requirement for a fair dismissal.
Consultation will also differ where there is a pool of employees from which fewer are to be selected to be made redundant. You will need to consult on how the employees to be made redundant are to be selected. This usually requires consultation as to the criteria and method of scoring to be used. The criteria needs to be reasonable thus subjective criteria should be avoided.
You should also consider 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. This is a particular issue where an employer is looking to remove managers and/or supervisors. It is not a case of merely deciding you no longer require a management post and therefore make the incumbent redundant. The Tribunal will expect you to consider other options including the possibility of bumping.
Redundancy is often considered a relatively low risk and straight forward option - in reality that is not a correct or sound assumption. Redundancy can be complex and often involves the consideration of a number of variables. You should take your time going through the process and ensure that true consultation occurs. Employers often fall into the trap of confirming decisions and then carry out what they believe to be consultation - it is an easy trap to fall in but will lead to a finding of unfair dismissal.
We have extensive experience in dealing with all types of redundancy situation. We can guide you through each step of the process including attending on site to assist you and help explain the process to staff.