Expert advice on redundancy
All businesses experience peaks and troughs in their commercial activities, and when a downturn occurs the possibility of job losses will be inevitably considered. Redundancy is always a last resort, and incidentally, the courts will wish to see evidence that attempts have been made by the employer to avoid a declaration of redundancy. There are a number of statutory steps that the employer must carry out to meet the requirements of the legislation relating to downsizing, which include: full consultation with affected employees, meetings with the staff concerned, the establishment of appropriate and lawful redundancy criteria, and the application of the same in your workplace.
The whole process is underpinned by meaningful consultation taking the form of private 1:1 meetings or alternatively with elected trade union representatives. As regards the consultation itself, the law places requirements for shorter or longer periods depending on the number of employees that the employer contemplates dismissing. Once the decision has been made to terminate employment, questions regarding the entitlement to redundancy payment or otherwise, as well as the applicable amounts have to be considered.
All of the above steps should be taken assuming that the employer does not wish to embark on a voluntary redundancy exercise, or alternatively that re-deployment has become impossible. If procedures are not followed, employees have the right to bring unfair dismissal claims.