Redundancy can be a challenging time for both employer and employee. As an employer, you should seek to comply with the correct redundancy process to ensure the employee facing redundancy is treated with appropriate professional respect, but also to mitigate the possibility that a redundancy will give rise to a potentially lengthy and costly unfair dismissal claim against your business. For legal advice and step-by-step guidance on the correct redundancy process for your business, contact MBM Commercial.
Our employment law solicitors are long-standing experts in their field and will provide bespoke guidance specific to your individual circumstances as an employer. We understand that the redundancy process can appear daunting; with the correct legal advice and direction, however, this can be a straightforward and professional process, consistent with your business aims and objectives.
The Redundancy Process for Employers
To establish whether the redundancy process is correct for your particular employment circumstances, the following three questions should be asked:
- Are you closing the operation of a business for which the employee was employed?
- Are you closing the place of business or relocating a business where the employee was employed?
- Do your business needs necessitate a reduction in the number of employees required to carry out work of a particular kind?
If your business circumstances match one or more of the above situations, you should seek legal advice on redundancy prior to discussing or advising employees of this process. As redundancy is ordinarily a measure of last resort, it should not be used to address other employment matters, for example, dismissal of an employee consistently demonstrating poor performance, misconduct in the workplace or other employee behaviour related concerns. Our employment law team will be able to advise you on how best to manage these situations where redundancy is not the most appropriate course of action available to you.
The redundancy process we recommend will be specific to your business needs and individual employee circumstances. There are however three cornerstones of the redundancy process common to most businesses and employers:
- The employee or groups of employees should be consulted prior to a decision being reached regarding redundancy. Consultation periods normally last for about two weeks, however, the duration will be entirely dependent on the specific circumstances within your business. The consultation process should seek to notify all employees of a potential redundancy situation in a professional and courteous manner and discuss other options, including job-sharing, reduced hours, etc. This consultation should allow a dialogue between employer and employee to establish the best course of action and mitigate potential frustration or distress with regard to any potential redundancy process.
- Search for suitable alternative roles. A search for suitable alternative roles for employees facing redundancy may not be possible if an entire business is ceasing trade. However, if redundancy is affecting one or a group of employees rather than an entire company, an employer has a legal duty to consider alternative employment opportunities, these should encompass roles within the immediate business organisation, as well as group companies or subsidiaries.
- Selection process. In the event that more than one employee will be affected by the redundancy process, a pool of employees should be identified and selection criteria agreed to determine how employees will be selected from that pool. Criteria must not be discriminatory and care should be taken to avoid indirect discrimination. Further, the criteria must also be capable of objective assessment or measurement.
Contact our Redundancy Advice Lawyers in Edinburgh and London
For expert employment law advice at a challenging time for you and your business, contact MBM Commercial. We offer holistic and practical legal advice to assist you in making the best decisions for your business and employees. Our employment law solicitors have years of knowledge and experience and will be on hand to offer legal advice and guidance when you need it most. Contact us on please call 0808 274 2145 or fill out our online contact form.