With the continuing recession, there is always talk of redundancy within the workplace. The fact remains for many business owners that redundancy has to be looked at in order for their business to strive in this tough economy. If done properly, the redundancy process can make your business leaner and fitter and better equipped to prosper in the current economic downturn. If you are a Peninsula client, we will guide you through the process, answering any queries along the way, so if you are considering any redundancies call the Advice Service now on 0844 892 2772 and they will be able to take you through the process step by step.

The most important thing to remember about redundancy is that it is about the job role, not the person performing it and that is why it is important to carry out meaningful consultation at every stage of the process. Redundancy occurs where the need for work of a particular kind has ceased or diminished at that particular site. The focus, therefore, in a redundancy situation is on the work rather than the people carrying it out.

If a company is in the situation where redundancy is becoming a real possibility then the obligation is to start consulting at that time as to whether or not there should be any redundancy and what alternatives there are to resolve the situation. A company needs to consult with the workforce about the nature of the problem and what they need to achieve so that suggestions for reaching that can be considered. Remember that this consultation is supposed to be meaningful so no decision should have taken place at this stage.

There are 2 stages to redundancy consultation. The first is whether or not the post should go. The second is whether or not the post holder should go. One will not necessarily follow on from the other.

When considering if the post should go, companies need to consider if this is a temporary reduction in work or a longer term difficulty. Look at alternatives such as placing people on lay off or short time working. Options can include seeing if staff will agree to a reduction in hours so that cuts can be made without anyone losing their employment. See if employees will be willing to take a pay cut to avoid a redundancy situation. If there is no way around making the posts redundant the next consideration is whether or not the post holder should be made redundant. At this point companies need to work very carefully on identifying the correct selection pool, and consider alternatives such as voluntary redundancies and “bumping” to ensure that the most suitable people are retained by the company.

Finally, a few Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind

Do

  • Consult with all staff at all stages before making any decisions
  • Consider alternative suggestions
  • Use objective selection criteria
  • Avoid potentially discriminatory criteria
  • Provide details of all alternative employment

Dont

  • Make decisions based on the individual
  • Use redundancy to deal with capability/conduct issues
  • Use subjective criteria
  • Make decisions before speaking to staff
  • Limit the details of alternative roles

Remember, if you are considering redundancy in your business, the Peninsula Advice Service is there to help you every step of the way. Just call one of our advisors on 0844 892 2772, they are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.