- What alternatives to making compulsory redundancies have been considered (i.e. voluntary redundancies, early retirement or a reduction in sub-contracted work)?
- Is this a unionised environment?
- Which roles (not people) are ‘at risk’, or likely to be affected by the changes?
- How will you consult with those affected?
- How many positions need to go? How much financial saving is needed?
- What are the timescales involved? Are there external time pressures?
- How do you propose the business will look at the end of this process?
Dealing with a redundancy situation can often be a very daunting and an emotionally difficult time for any business (especially small businesses), sometimes involving long-serving, loyal employees who find their jobs at risk. Offering ‘redundancy’ is sometimes considered an easy method of removing an employee even when there is no true redundancy situation – for example, due to poor performance. This isn’t a legitimate redundancy situation, as there is no downturn in work of a particular kind at a particular site. Unless there is a genuine redundancy situation, a Tribunal judge will find that this was an unfair dismissal and it can be an expensive mistake for employers to make. One of the key points that a Tribunal will consider is whether the employer has explored all avenues to try to avoid having to dismiss employees. Redundancy dismissals should be a last resort. For this reason, the first step should be to put together a sound and compelling business case or rationale, which clearly explains the reasons this situation has arisen, what other steps you have taken and what other options you have considered. This will usually include: