Redundancies: Let’s Start at the Beginning

An unfortunate corollary of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the influx of DLP clients (new and existing) who have contacted us to discuss potential redundancy situations.

SO, WHAT IS A REDUNDANCY AND WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR A REDUNDANCY?

These tend to be the most regularly asked questions and this article will go some way in explaining these questions.

The first thing to remember is that all redundancy situations are unique, they require detailed and considered planning and no one size fits all for this process (as with most employment law processes). Let us go back to what the H in HR stands for, human, how could every process for every human be templated or generalised?

That being said, in a potential redundancy situation, we need to do the unthinkable and take the “human” out. Remember, a redundancy is not about whether the “human” is redundant, it is about whether the “role” is redundant. Completely strip the whole situation back and ask yourself “has the role gone?”. If the answer is yes, then we move onto the next question as to where that work has gone. If you answer this question simply by saying that the work has disappeared, then it is extremely likely that you are correct, and the role is redundant.

If, on the other hand, you are responding out loud that one third of the role will go to employee A and another third will go to employee B with the final third going to employee C, then we need to think carefully about the potentially redundant role. Throughout the planning phase of a redundancy (the most crucial stage in this process) keep asking “has the role gone?”. If the answer is yes, then the process is much more likely to be safe and genuine.

GENUINE REDUNDANCY?

Going back to the previous paragraph “has the role gone?” or “has the work gone?”. If the answer to these questions are no and there are performance issues and other reasons why you want to terminate the employee, then potentially this is not a genuine redundancy. On this basis, you would need to speak to a DLP advisor about other remedies such as a disciplinary hearing, performance management or perhaps a without prejudice discussion to end their employment. Equally, if the employee has raised grievances or protected disclosures and an employer wants to make them redundant then you should seek immediate advice. A recent claim settled for £30,000 through ACAS under a COT 3 after an employee was made redundant following 3 grievances being raised.

Remember, DLP’s advisors can help you achieve the reduction in staffing you require. You are encouraged to seek advice at the beginning to plan the correct and safest outcome for your business.

Feel free to use DLP’s user-friendly redundancy road map.

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