Nobody really wants to hear the R word, but if your organisation is considering making redundancies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s really important that you handle them fairly and legally.
First you must establish whether making redundancies is the most appropriate course of action. This guide will provide information on handling the initial decision, right through to employee communications and important HR considerations.
Decide whether redundancy is the best option
There may be other options available to you as an employer. Could staff who are currently furloughed take advantage of the Flexible Furlough Scheme and return part time? Could people be retrained and redeployed? Could you limit overtime to free up resources? If these options are practical, then they must be considered as an alternative to redundancy.
Many of these options will require official consultation and change of contracts, so ensure you are following the proper procedures.
Make a plan
This will help you manage every part of the process. You may need to work with stakeholders and get advice from a HR consultant to ensure any redundancy plan is fair for all concerned.
It will need to cover things such as consultation periods, how staff will be selected for redundancy, and how redundancy pay will be calculated.
You’ll also need a business case to justify the decision to make redundancies.
Communicate with employees and other parties
The possibility of redundancies is unsettling and demotivating for teams, especially where clear communication is lacking. Having a clear, objective plan for the redundancy process is vital in this situation, so that you can effectively share the possible outcomes and any changes.
Comply with relevant employment law and HR processes
You must conduct each part of this process with adherence to the proper legal and HR regulations, for the sake of your employees and your business.
This includes a consultation which must be held within the proper timeframe and in the correct manner; communicating your decision with the relevant government bodies; selecting and informing staff about redundancies; and entering into the appeals process.
It is critical to seek advice from a HR Consultant who will make sure you comply at each step of the process, as any mistakes could open you up to legal ramifications.
Provide fair and equitable redundancy packages
The entire selection process must be completely free from discrimination and made in accordance with the criteria you set out in your redundancy plan. Provided that this has been discussed and agreed with your staff then they ought to view it as fair and objective.
There is a minimum statutory redundancy pay required of you by law where contracted employees have been with your business for two years or more. You do have the option to pay in excess of this amount, often as an incentive for staff to take voluntary redundancies.
What to do next
Redundancies are a complex topic, which must be handled with transparency and fairness. They should not be entered into without the proper guidance and legal compliance.
If you need support with the redundancy process, whether in making the initial decisions or forming a plan of action, book an initial 1hr consultation to find the best solution for your business and your employees.