Redundancy Procedure – Important Considerations for Businesses

Published 28 October 2020

As we move into the Autumn/Winter period of 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to significantly impact businesses across all sectors. Whilst some have maintained pre-Covid levels of demand, or have adapted their business model accordingly, many businesses are still facing difficulties. As a result, some employers may regrettably be considering the need to make redundancies.

This blog outlines some of the important considerations for businesses in this situation.

  • Identify if there is a genuine redundancy situation affecting the business and if so, what the cause of it is;
  • Consider whether there are any alternatives to making redundancies;
  • Check whether Collective Consultation might apply and obtain advice on the correct procedure;

If you are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant within any 90-day period you must follow Collective Consultation rules. This procedure is more complex and involves the election of representatives.

The number of affected individuals also has an impact on how long you must consult for;

  1. You must consult for at least 30 days if 20-99 individuals are affected within a 90-day period;
  2. You must consult for at least 90 days if 100 or more individuals are affected within a 90-day period.

If you believe Collective Consultation applies, we recommend you take advice on the process as soon as possible to ensure you comply with the statutory requirements and the consultation period.

If Collective Consultation does not apply, you must still follow a Redundancy Procedure, we recommend you take advice on the steps to be taken;

Check your contracts and handbooks to identify if a Redundancy Procedure or enhanced redundancy payment provision is contained, take advice on whether the procedure you have is compliant with the legislation and appropriate for the situation you are in;

Be mindful to avoid anything which could be deemed to be discrimination in any redundancy procedure/selection process.

The above list is by no means exhaustive and we recommend you take legal advice on your own specific circumstances before taking action. Failure to comply with redundancy requirements can lead to expensive and time-consuming litigation, so as they say, a stitch in time saves nine! If you require any further advice on this or any other employment matter, please contact the Employment Law team MKB Law.

This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice.

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