Preparing for redundancies
No-one can deny that it's been a tough few years for the
economy, and there are signs of continuing difficult times in
Challenging trading conditions may result in employers
revisiting their strategies and growth forecasts, and organisations
may also need to review the levels of staffing required to fulfil
Here are some of the key things to consider when planning a
restructure that could lead to a number of redundancies:
1Consider the circumstances.
Is there a genuine redundancy situation in line with the legal
definition? Are there any enhanced redundancy or collective
agreements in place which require initial negotiations with a trade
union or employee body?
2 Do your maths.
How many employees will be affected? If it is between 20 and 99
proposed redundancies in one establishment within a 90-day period,
then a 30-day consultation period will be necessary. If 100 or more
proposed redundancies, then a 90-day consultation period is
necessary. Don't forget it's not about how many people will be made
compulsorily redundant; it's about how many roles you propose to
Is it appropriate to ask for volunteers before moving to
compulsory redundancies? Remember that volunteers count towards the
overall number of proposed redundancies for the purposes of
4 Timing is everything.
Make sure you begin your consultation in good time and allow
enough time for the consultation to conclude before any
redundancies are confirmed.
5 Draw up appropriate selection criteria.
Think about whether it is appropriate to consult on the proposed
selection criteria with any trade union/representative body.
6 Elect your representatives.
The Regulations give broad outlines as to the running of the
elections, but there is no specific guidance as to how the
elections should be managed in practice. Generally speaking, it is
advisable to write to each affected employee explaining the
essentials of the representation and consultation process, and
inviting nominations for each workgroup.
You must also provide your representatives with certain
information about agency workers within your organisation,
including: the number of agency workers working temporarily for and
under your direction; the parts of your organisation in which
agency workers are working; and the type of work the agency workers
Any changes to the above information during the consultation
period must be communicated to the representatives.
It is therefore important that you keep up-to-date data about
your agency workers to avoid the risk of protective award claims
under this requirement (which could lead to awards of 90 days' pay
per affected employee).
The proper statutory timetable must be followed, and there must
be enough time for individual consultation.
8. Consider the alternatives.
Look for alternative employment for affected individuals,
consider trial periods and don't ignore group companies or
9 Proper notice of dismissal must be given.
This should include an itemised statement of redundancy pay.
10 Allow a right of appeal.
The possibility of appeal should be part of any redundancy