Redundancy Law & Procedure in the UK
The exact procedure you should follow will vary depending on the size of your business and the number of redundancies being made.
The employment relationship is governed by an ever-increasing body of laws and protocols that place a number of obligations on employers when interacting with their employees. One area of the employment relationship extensively covered by this legal regime is redundancy.
Most employers will only consider redundancies if circumstances force them to do so. Making redundancies puts a significant degree of pressure on employers, who must make sure that they approach the situation with the necessary level of care and diligence, in an attempt to protect business interests while respecting the fact that the prospect of redundancy is likely to create anxiety amongst employees.
Employment Law Services (ELS) appreciate the many demands placed on employers who are considering making some of their workforce redundant. Our team are regularly called upon to assist businesses to implement a redundancy procedure that meets the many legal obligations imposed on employers. If your business is in need of comprehensive advice and support on any aspect of redundancy, contact our team today and find out how we can help.
Redundancy Support and Guidance for SMEs and Small Businesses
Employers must ensure that they design a redundancy process that is fair and objective. Depending on the number of redundancies being considered, the law imposes different consultative requirements on employers: fewer than 20 prospective redundancies will require individual consultation with employees, while an employer looking to pursue redundancy for more than 20 people will be obliged to consult more extensively.
Employers must also ensure that the underlying reason for pursuing redundancy in the first place is fair. The law is designed in such a way that employers must be able to provide objective evidence to substantiate the need to pursue redundancy, e.g. with a view to protecting the business in difficult economic situations. It is vital that an employer’s decision to consider making employees redundant is not based on any suspected discrimination or other questionable rationale for reducing their workforce, otherwise the business could be put at risk. Any such instance could result in an employer being the subject of a claim before an employment tribunal, which if successful could result in a financial sanction and significant damage to the business’s reputation.
It is important to note that an employer’s decision to implement a redundancy programme must also consider alternative arrangements. The law respects the reality that a business may be forced to consider redundancy for a variety of reasons. It also requires that redundancy should be avoided, if it can in the circumstances. Employers are obliged to offer employees ‘alternative employment’ if such an arrangement exists. However, the kind of alternative employment employers are obliged to consider offering employees will depend on the circumstances, including:
- The role
- The level of pay available
- The working hours
- The location of the job
- Employee skills and personal circumstances
Comprehensive Employment Law Support for Business
The process of organising and pursuing a redundancy programme is long and complicated. Employers are required to navigate a complex set of rules, not only when making the decision whether to make redundancies, but also in how they select candidates for consideration and the basis on which they make their decision. This requires a great deal of careful planning, which should be carried out with the support and guidance of advisors familiar with the process.
Employment Law Services (ELS) is a leading provider of employment law and HR guidance and support to SMEs and Medium Sized Businesses in Scotland and England & Wales. We are proud of our strong reputation for delivering an effective service to employers across a range of sectors including Food and Drink, Telecoms and Distribution.
A number of our team members are recognised as experts in their field, qualified to provide bespoke assistance to clients that reflect the commercial realities they face. Of all areas of UK law, employment law is arguably one of the most complex and fast changing. This requires employers to consult advisors who are up to date with developments and able to keep them appropriately advised on the changing nature of their obligations.
Our service places priority on providing assistance to employers that is prompt and effective. The team at Employment Law Services (ELS) take their role very seriously, and work in partnership with employers to discharge their responsibilities to employees when pursuing a redundancy scheme. We will also be happy to provide onsite guidance and support to businesses, ensuring that they are appropriately advised on the day-to-day realities of operating a redundancy scheme. Contact our team today and find out how we can help you.
EmployEasily Legal Service’s Redundancy Support Service can be tailored to meet your specific requirments and can cover all aspects of a redundancy situation from on-site discussions through to outplacement support for staff being made redundant.
Our comprehensive redundancy support services include:
- On-site discussion and support with business restructure
- Support to identify a pool for selection
- A comprehensive project plan including timings
- Preparation of company announcements
- Facilitation of consultation meetings
- Support for employee representatives
- Support for Line Managers
- Draft selection criteria proposed
- Preparation and printing of all personalised employee correspondence
- Selection interviews and recruitment criteria
- Unlimited on-site support and guidance throughout the process
- Outplacement support for displaced employees
Our comprehensive Redundancy Support Services are included as standard in our fully outsourced HR Services package. For companies that do not subscribe to our fully outsourced HR Services package, we can certainly still provide our Redundancy Support Services as a bespoke HR ‘project’. Are you thinking about making redundancies?