Redundancy Advice for Employers
From time to time a business may need to consider making redundancies. Obviously any such decisions are not taken lightly at time when businesses are facing real financial challenges.
It is important that redundancies are dealt with correctly – not only because of the legal consequences of not doing so – but also because of the effects that a badly handled redundancy process can have both on the staff who remain and your organisation’s reputation.
IBB advises businesses at the early stages of redundancy and re-structure decision-making. This allows us to ensure that the business considers all the options available to it at an early stage and has a clear understanding of what its objectives are, and how to achieve them.
The types of issues that typically occur in any redundancy process, and which IBB are able to assist with, are:
- When to announce any potential redundancies to the workforce and when to start formal consultation. This timing is critical with regard to the continued smooth running of operations and retention of staff
- Considering alternative solutions to redundancy, e.g. flexible working arrangements, changes to terms and conditions, overtime bans, not replacing exiting staff. Even if these alternatives cannot avoid redundancy, they can often reduce the number of proposed redundancies
- Advising on whether collective consultation is necessary and, if so, advising on how and when to collectively consult (including the appointment of employee representatives).
- Advising on whether contractual redundancy payments are binding
- Drafting documentation and correspondence including “at risk” letters, FAQs and briefing notes for management
- Advising on options regarding selection criteria and scoring. It is important to ensure that the selection criteria used will leave the business with the most appropriate workforce resources after a redundancy process
- Advising on staff pooling issues. This is particularly important where there is a flexible workforce and considerable discretion may be available
- Advising on the obligations regarding searching for alternative employment including the use of trial periods
- Advising on retention or productivity incentives during the consultation period
- Advising on the appropriateness of the use of settlement agreements in certain situations.
Redundancy processes are always fluid and IBB has the ability to provide on-the-spot advice on any issues raised by employees as your business goes through the process. The advice is clear, concise and effective to ensure the difficult process of redundancy is dealt with as swiftly as possible, while minimising the risk of any subsequent legal claims or negative reputation issues.