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Redundancy. How important is it to get it right?

Redundancy. How important is it to get it right?

The Importance of a Fair Redundancy Procedure 

How to do a fair redundancy.  Redundancies can be complicated and difficult for both employer and employee. When redundancies unfortunately have to be made, it is important that they are done correctly.

Redundancy is one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal – for example – due to the genuine changing needs of the business. However, it is crucial that the correct steps are followed in order to make the process fair. In the absence of a fair procedure, the dismissal may be rendered unfair.

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Steps in a fair redundancy process

Steps in a fair redundancy process can include:

  • warning and consultation,
  • a fair basis for selection,
  • consideration of suitable alternative employment,
  • an opportunity to appeal the decision.

Employers should be clear with employees about what the process will involve. A meeting should be held between employer and employee explaining the key points such as the reasons that redundancies need to be made and, if appropriate, why the employee has been selected to be placed into the redundancy pool.

A fair basis for selection will often involve the employer using selection criteria such as skills, standard of performance, and disciplinary record. The criteria should be as objective and measurable as possible, and employees should be consulted on how they scored against the selection criteria used.

The employer should take all reasonable steps to find alternative employment within the organisation for the affected employee and should consult the employee about it, taking account of their skills and experience.

What if it isn’t fair?

With the prospect of someone losing their job, a redundancy situation can create tension and emotion.  To get closure on the outcome, it is essential that employees are not left feeling let down by the process.

If an employee feels the decision to dismiss them was unfair, then it is almost a given that the employee will not be happy with some part of how the process was carried out and how the decision was arrived at. This can lead to further time and costs being incurred with the appeal against the decision, the ACAS Early Conciliation process, and Employment Tribunal proceedings.

Employees who feel they have been unfairly selected for redundancy may be able to claim unfair dismissal, and depending on the circumstances, claims for discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Redundancy processes are often not straightforward, and we can offer help and advice on following the correct process and fulfilling the necessary steps correctly.

If you are an employee and believe that you have been made redundant in the absence of a fair process or for a reason that is not fair, we can help to advise you on your rights.

Contact our Employment department today by calling 01744 744413, or by contacting us here.

Posted on: 13/Nov/2020 Posted in: Employment Law
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