No organisation likes to be in the position of having to consider making positions redundant; however there are times where there is no other alternative.
For a redundancy situation to be genuine, you must be able to demonstrate:
1. That the role has come to an end;
2. There are surplus employee’s; or
3. The work is ending in the location where the employee is employed.
If there is an information and consultation agreement in place you have a duty to inform and consult with employees or their representatives on changes to the workforce including any proposed redundancies. If you fail to consult with employees in a redundancy situation, any redundancies made will almost certainly be unfair it can also lead to a protective award.
You must consult in good time with affected staff about ways to avoid or reduce the impact of redundancies. If you propose to make 20-99 employees redundant in a 90 day period you must have a minimum consultation period of 30 days. If you propose to make more than 100 redundant then you must consult for a minimum of 90 days. In addition you must;
• Notify the Department of Employment and Learning using the HR1 form.
• Consult with workplace representatives. These may be either trade union reps and or elected employee representatives for those employees not represented by a union. If your employees choose not to elect employee representatives, you must give the relevant information directly to each individual.
The process will usually start with an at risk meeting where you inform the employee of the rationale for the redundancy. If only a particular role is affected then there may be a need for 3 meetings in total. Where there is a pool of employees affected it may be necessary to hold an additional meeting and a matrix of selection will normally be required. It is important that you retain the best skills within the workforce. Where possible the selection used should be objectively measured (e.g. using attendance and timekeeping records for absences and lateness). Care needs to be taken to ensure that the process is not discriminatory.
The process should involve discussion of alternatives to avoid the redundancy situation. Employers should explore reducing hours by agreement or considering requests for voluntary redundancy.
If you require any further information on the process of redundancy please do not hesitate to contact the advice line on 0844 892 2786.