Due to the current economic climate many employers will reduce staffing levels and/or restructure their organisation to make savings. Employers need to consider in advance redundancy preparation & consultation requirements for any redundancies.
Failure to follow the correct procedures when making redundancies could prove to be costly, particularly if it results in legal proceedings being raised against the employer.
Unfair dismissal arising for redundancy may be caused by the following:-
• Unfair selection of pools
• Unfair application of selection criteria
• Failure to fully consult
• Failure to offer alternative employment
After confirming that a redundancy situation does in fact exist i.e. reducing need for the number of employees to do work of a particular kind. Employers should consider the following when carrying out a redundancy exercise:
- Are you able to avoid redundancy through alternative employment or working arrangements?
Advance Preparation & Consultation Requirements
- Consult on a collective basis with appropriate representatives (i.e. union or elected employee representative) where the employer is proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant within a period of 90 days or less
- Ensure individual consultation takes place if less than 20 employees are being made redundant
- Observe the statutory minimum consultation periods
– 20 to 99 redundancies planned = 30 days
– over 99 redundancies = 90 days
- Consult with staff who are off sick and on maternity/paternity leave
- Identify the pool of persons at risk of redundancy (usually those doing work of that particular kind)
- Identify objective selection criteria (with a view to avoiding unlawful discrimination)
- Identify the method of applying the selection criteria to individual employees (e.g. scoring matrix and/or interview)
- Have at least two redundancy consultation meetings with employees and ensure that notes are taken
- Check your employees’ contracts of employment to establish whether they are entitled to an enhanced redundancy payment and provide a copy of the redundancy calculation
- Inform employees if selected for redundancy, issue formal written notice
- Notify the Redundancy Payments Office if more than 20 redundancies planned in 90 day period or less
- If an alternative offer of employment is made, ensure the employee is entitled to a four-week trial period
- Provide a right of appeal
- Allow redundant employees reasonable time off (with pay) to look for new employment/make arrangements for training
- Make redundancy payment
If you have any queries about the redundancy process, please get in touch with our employment team.