Redundancies – Do’s and Dont’s

With a number of sectors hit by the current economic downturn we are now starting to see a number of businesses look to reduce cost by reducing staff numbers.

The majority of businesses making staff cuts have seen a genuine downturn in business, and as a result have genuine redundancy situations. It is still however important that any redundancy process is dealt with in a fair and proper manner – failure to do so can give rise to costly claims in the Employment Tribunal, so here are a few do’s and dont’s if you are considering redundancies.

DO

  • Consult with all staff at all stages
  • Consider alternatives to redundancies
  • Explain steps taken to avoid redundancies
  • Explain why redundancies are necessary
  • Ensure any scoring criteria are objective
  • Ask if anyone is interested in voluntary redundancy
  • Remember different rules can apply to pregnant staff or those on maternity leave
  • Remember there are prescribed consultation periods where you are planning more than 20 redundancies
  • Get advice at the outset

DONT

  • Use redundancy to deal with conduct issues
  • Use redundancy to deal with capability issues
  • Use subjective selection criteria
  • Use discriminatory criteria
  • Make decisions without speaking to staff
  • Make decisions based on personality
  • Rush the process

The mistakes we see with redundancies are generally as a consequence of rushing the process where staff can feel that the process was pre-determined. It is important to take a step back, pause and then if there is a genuine redundancy situation to deal with this in a fair and proper manner.

The lists above are not exhaustive, and you should always seek advice when considering making redundancies or dismissing any staff. To speak to us further about making redundancies drop us a message by clicking here