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A business may face a down turn in work or financial problems. In those circumstances redundancies may be one of the options. However it shouldn’t be the first or only option. Further, you shouldn’t use redundancy as an excuse to dismiss an employee e.g. for underperformance.
When a business has problems it is very easy to leave matters until the pressure is enormous. Then an employer may dismiss in a rush and make a mess of it. This can lead to a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Making redundancies has a very unsettling effect on remaining employees. This is more if you don’t follow clear fair procedures. In the end if you handle a redundancy process badly it causes more problems than it solves.
Making Redundancies involves dismissal
Employers often forget that making redundancies involves dismissing employees. Like any other reason for dismissal there are a number of procedures and time limits to comply with before making any redundancies. For example you should consult employees before a decision is made to make anyone redundant.
It’s no good telling staff they will be redundant and then consulting them. The consultation process involves various stages and includes looking at which jobs are at risk, whether there are alternatives to redundancy and alternative jobs. Employers often think that consulting employees won’t make any difference. However I have seen alternative solutions come out of such discussions and redundancies then avoided.
Redundancy should be not be used to get rid of problem employees. Performance or misconduct processes should be used in those cases.
Get advice early on
I can help you get through these stressful times. We can ensure you go through the procedures which makes things easier all round. Talking about the options which makes things clearer and you can see the way forward. Don’t make things worse by leaving it to the last minute so give me a call.
Kirsten Moon – Employment Law Solicitor – Partner