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Redundancy procedures

Following our previous blog article on introducing you to redundancies, we are pleased to shred further light on the considerations that any employer should have when looking at making redundancies.

  1. Is there a genuine need to make a person(s) redundant?

As touched upon in our last blog article on redundancies, an employer should consider whether it is truly necessary to make someone redundant. If possible, an employer should always attempt to minimise the amount of redundancies by providing alternative roles to the potentially affected employees in other parts of the business.

Should an employer be unable to find an alternative position or location for the employee to be worked from, then an employer should turn to should consider step 2.

  1. Redundancy selection criteria

An employer should then turn to establishing the amount of redundancies that it will have to make. Should it be 20 or more redundancies that are proposed, then an employer has a duty to collectively consult the affected employees under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (‘TULRCA 1992’). There are slightly different obligations under this procedure, and we are happy to advise you on these should you need some assistance.

If there are less than 20 employees, then a fair and objective procedure must be applied in relation to each employee. This article will continue with regard to non-TULRCA 1992 redundancies.

An employer should then propose some objective selection criteria for the purposes of selecting potential employees. Therefore, the criteria should be based on statistical data rather than personal opinions. Objective data can include information such as: salary, commission, level of sales (if appropriate), level of productivity, appraisal and disciplinary history, experience, job seniority, amongst other things.

  1. First meeting (collective)

The employer should then look to meet with the affected employees, explaining the reasons for the potential redundancies and making it clear that redundancies are a possibility at that moment in time. The employees should be reassured that this isn’t guaranteed and that the employer is attempting to find a way in order to minimise the amount of redundancies.

The redundancy selection criteria should then be explained to the employees and the employer should explain to the employees their rights to take time off from work in order to seek alternative employment.

Once this is done, a letter should be sent each to employee individually, detailing the content of the meeting.

  1. Objectively-assessing employees for redundancy

After exhausting attempts to minimise the probability and quantity of redundancies, the employer should score each employee who could potentially be affected by redundancy, according to the chosen objective criteria. The employer should ensure that at least two line managers conduct the assessment in an attempt to ensure that the scoring is as objective as possible.

  1. Second meeting (individual)

After selecting the employees, the employer should then write to the employee stating that they have been provisionally selected for redundancy and to invite them to a meeting to discuss their selection.

The employer should then individually meet with every employee to discuss their scores, the reasons for selecting them and the terms of their redundancy. The employee should be provided with a fair amount of information. This is thought to be enough information that lets the employee know the reasons for their selection and to know enough about the scoring in order to challenge it.

  1. Third meeting (individual)

Once the decision has been made as to which employees have been selected for redundancy, the employer should invite the employee to a meeting. The employee is allowed to be accompanied by a trade union representative or a work colleague.

Barring that the situation has not changed, the employer should then confirm that the employee will be made redundant, and discuss the proposed redundancy package with them.

  1. Dismissal letter and appeal

The employee should then receive a letter from the employer, confirming their decision to dismiss that employee and specify their termination. The employer should stress to the employee, the need for them to obtain independent legal advice on the settlement that has been offered.

In the same letter, the employer should confirm the employee’s right to appeal, the appeal procedure and the time limit in which to appeal by.

At Foskett Marr Gadsby & Head LLP, we have the expertise and the experience to guide you through the redundancy process. Should you wish to speak further about this with someone, then please contact our either Robin Cearns (Loughton office) or Richard Gordon (Epping office) on 01992 578642.