Conducting a redundancy or restructure exercise fairly, safely and objectively.
Q: What is redundancy?
A: Redundancy arises only in the three very narrowly defined circumstances summarised below. Confusion often arises because ‘making someone redundant’ is often used as a euphemism for saying an employee is being dismissed for some reason other than redundancy.
Redundancy arises when either there has been, or is going to be either:
- the closure of the business
- the closure of the workplace
- a diminution in the need for employees to do work of a particular kind
If, and only if, one of these situations has arisen will the redundancy be a genuine one.
Q: What is a restructure?
A: Restructures occur when an organisation decides to bring about a drastic or fundamental internal change that alters the relationships between different components or elements of an organisation or system and affects jobs.
Q: Is there a procedure we need to follow?
A: When dealing with either redundancies or restructures there are certain procedures that need to be followed. Every redundancy and restructure is completely different and whilst the same legislation and processes apply, how they are implemented needs to be bespoke to each situation.
Q: What happens if I don’t get it right?
A: It is of the utmost importance that employers start thinking about redundancies and restructures early and implement sufficient planning to reduce the consequences. Often employers make the mistake of pushing redundancies through too rapidly. The employer is open to several claims if the redundancy dismissal is not carried out fairly including:
- a claim for a protective award
- unfair dismissal for qualifying employees with two years continuous service. There are also certain categories of automatically unfair dismissal which do not require two years continuous service.
- discrimination – if the selection procedure has been tainted by discrimination, an employee may also claim discrimination on grounds of sex, marital status, race, disability, sexual orientation, or religion or belief
- breach of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 or the Fixed-term Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002.
Q: What help can we give to you?
A: As well as providing legal advice on any aspect of redundancy or restructure, our Employment Law and HR Adviser team includes HR practitioners who can come in and implement appropriate redundancy processes for you, leaving you free to run your business.
Our HR practitioners are trained to understand the important HR issues and to make sure all redundancy and restructure procedures are compliant from an employment law perspective – giving you the peace of mind that if any disputes arise you will be in the best position to deal with them.
We work on day and half day rates and remember, if you are a Watertight member, you get 10% off our fees.