When an employee is dismissed as ‘redundant’ the employer is indicating that this role is no longer required. This is a simple concept, but the law surrounding redundancy can be complicated.
In addition, different legal obligations apply depending on the number of employees you plan to make redundant. We recommend taking specialist employment advice at the beginning of the redundancy process as any errors in procedure can leave a business vulnerable to claims from former employees.
Our employment solicitors work with employers of all sizes to guide them through the process of making redundancies to ensure that their businesses are protected.
How our employment solicitors can support you
Individual and group redundancies
In situations where one person, or a small group of people are being made redundant, you will need to make an announcement to staff that they are risk. Following this, you might offer voluntary redundancy under a settlement agreement, ‘score’ staff against ‘selection criteria’ and hold ‘consultation’ meetings with the affected employees.
To avoid unfair dismissal or discrimination claims everything you do needs to be legally correct at all points in the process. In addition, you will want the process to be as simple and quick as possible. Our employment solicitors can advise and work with you, on all relevant steps in the procedure.
When a redundancy exercise reaches 20 or more dismissals in a 90-day period at one establishment then a further set of legal obligations apply. The process is known as ‘collective consultation’.
In these situations, consultation is with staff representatives, including relevant trade union representatives. As the employer, you will be expected to provide representatives with detailed written information about the redundancy exercise and the numbers affected pursuant to your statutory obligations. Failing to follow the correct collective redundancy process can lead to tribunal claims, including an award for each employee affected of up to 90 days’ pay.
Our employment solicitors have guided many companies through collective consultation processes, including negotiating with staff representatives, such as trade unions or works councils. We can support you, whatever the scale of the change that you envisage making.
Restructuring covers a wide range of business reorganisations. Often businesses realise that the current staff roles are not suitable moving forward. While the business wants to change it may not want to lose those employees, but rather alter their roles instead.
Restructuring can be a disruptive process that is accompanied by significant change for employees. We can support you with all restructuring projects to ensure the matter is resolved as smoothly as possible, allowing your business to operate efficiently and to ensure that it is best placed to meet its future goals.
Contact an employment solicitor
If you would like to learn more about how we can support your business, please contact a member of our Employment & HR team below or call 0800 652 8025.
Clarke Willmott has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton. We provide employment law and HR advice to businesses in the UK and internationally.