Enduring a redundancy process can no doubt be taxing for everyone involved; ensuring that you’ve faithfully followed the law and also the emotional aspect of telling your employee/s the news. However, luckily for you we have made a brief summary of the most important information that can help you through these trying times.
Why make someone redundant?
Redundancy primarily occurs when a business is either closing (perhaps to relocate) or when the employees needed for a specific role are no longer needed or being reduced. Cutting down on the number of employees can save costs and reduce overheads for employers if there are any financial issues. After all employees are often one of the biggest expenses a company has. Secondly, the company may need to be restructured if it has outgrown its original design – perhaps people need to be moved around (redeployment) or some roles are just not needed at all (redundancy).
How does the process work?
Redundancy should only happen once you are certain that there are no other options.
- Done a cost review?
- Investigated as to whether reducing hours or pay would work?
- Considered if any extras can be cut, such as bonuses or benefits?
If even after this, there appears no viable solution then you’ll need to read the steps below on how to fairly and correctly execute a redundancy process.
- What are your reasons?
It’s vital to know why you have come to the decision to make roles redundant so that this can be communicated to staff.
- Which roles are being made redundant?
Once you decide which jobs are no longer needed you will have created a group of people at risk of redundancy. This could include multiple people if many of your employees do similar tasks, or even just one person if they have a unique, standalone position. If you have a number of people who do the same or similar roles, they will need to be put into a selection pool.
- Tell the people who are at risk of redundancy
Depending on the numbers involved, this can sometimes be done in a group meeting – here, you must consult those affected about their job either being no longer required or changed. This gives the affected employees a chance to propose any changes that may influence your decision.
- Create selection criteria
If you need less of a particular role you will need to design selection criteria. This is a set of criteria where you set out the skills and behaviours needed in the roles that will remain. You will score individuals against each of the criteria set. This will offer objective reasoning behind the decision on who will be kept and who will be let go.
- Individual consultation meetings
You must now hold one-on-one meetings with those whose jobs are at risk of redundancy. These meetings are extremely sensitive and can be very emotional and difficult for an employee to take in what is happening. It is essential to give sufficient time for an affected employee to provide feedback on the selection criteria, how they feel about the decision and to discuss alternative roles if appropriate. Ultimately, you will provide an outcome letter which addresses any points made by the employee in their meeting and invite them to their next consultation.
- Second consultation meetings
This is your opportunity to let your employee know how they scored (if they want to know) and if they have any comments on the decision to select their role for redundancy. Whilst they may want to know how everyone else scored in their selection pool, you cannot disclose this information. This consultation meeting must be formally followed up in writing, again answering any feedback and points raised and inviting them to a final consultation meeting.
- Are there alternatives?
Check if your company has any role vacancies that may be a suitable match for those being made redundant – this means that the skills required are similar to their current position. Provide as much information as you can about these roles to your at risk staff. Give them the opportunity to apply if they wish. Some roles may be deemed “suitable alternative employment” and some may not be deemed suitable alternatives, i.e. seen to be more junior, require a lot of additional training, have different shifts or hours.
- Final consultation
At this stage you can give your staff a notice of redundancy. As all points raised should have been thoroughly talked through at the earlier stages, you should only need to briefly recap the previous discussions and reasoning before issuing a notice of redundancy. This must be confirmed in writing, including any leaving arrangements, the redundancy terms, payment schedules and the right to appeal.
- Right to appeal
This is a necessity to show that this has been a fair process throughout. If an appeal is raised, a manager uninvolved in the process should hear the appeal to ensure objectivity.
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