10 things you can, should and must do before making someone redundant
May 26, 2021
Making your employees redundant is hard. It’s natural to feel a burden when you hold the fate of others in your hands. In our latest blog, we set out what you can, should and must do during the redundancy process to make sure it’s carried out fairly, sensitively and legally.
Redundancy best practice: what can I do when making someone redundant?
We’ve detailed 10 things you can do to handle your redundancy process fairly and sensitively:
- Provide your employees with as much notice as possible and start consultation as early as you can. Listen and consider all suggestions as part of consultation.
- Invite employees to volunteer for redundancy in the first instance and consider a ‘sweetener’ – i.e., above the statutory minimum for those that volunteer first if budget allows.
- Use defined selection criteria which can include interviews to select employees for redundancy.
- Clearly communicate redundancy selection criteria to your employees and allow employees ask questions about the selection process. Consider all alternatives to redundancy. Redundancy should only be a LAST resort. Remember, it’s the role that is being made redundant.
- Schedule more than one meeting (as part of the consultation process) to allow employees to discuss selection criteria and give them plenty of opportunities to consider their options.
- Be flexible on notice periods – i.e., allow them to leave early – the decision is ultimately yours, but if they’re keen to move on, try to support and facilitate this.
- If budget allows, consider going beyond the minimum statutory redundancy requirements.
- Consider offering emotional support and access to counselling – it’s a stressful process, so listen and help where you can.
- Be flexible about allowing employees to book time off to attend external interviews
- Look after those who are not leaving, they need support too!
Remember – communicate, communicate, communicate and then communicate some more.
What should I ideally do when making someone redundant?
Your employees are entitled to a fair and objective process, so implementing the following steps will help things to run smoothly.
10 things you should do during the redundancy process:
- Explore alternatives – for example, alternative roles with similar pay, skills and conditions, before making your decision. Redundancy should always be a last resort
- Explain why it’s happening and provide an estimated timeline.
- Define and explain the criteria for redundancy.
- Emphasise at the first consultation meeting that no decisions have been made and you wish to work with your employees to find the best solution for everyone.
- Take the consultation seriously – your employees may have some fantastic ideas you hadn’t considered.
- Invite employees to at least one 1-2-1 meeting.
- Take and circulate minutes of all meetings.
- Prepare a matrix of employment criteria to choose the most suitable roles to retain and let go. Remember, it’s the roles being made redundant, not the people!
- Inform employees in writing if their roles are being considered for redundancy
- Inform affected team members they can appeal your decision.
Keep an open mind ahead of the redundancy process and make sure you support your employees as much as you can, such as helping with CVs, interview tips, references, outplacement support or offering training to assist them in securing another role internally.
What do I have to do when making someone redundant?
Under the 1996 Employment Rights Act, employees can be made redundant if the following statements are wholly or partly true:
- The employer ceases to continue the business
- The employer ceases to continue the business in the location where the employee worked
- The need for employee/s to do work of a particular nature ceases or reduces
- The employer no longer needs work of a particular nature to be carried out in the location where the employee worked
When it comes to your legal responsibilities, here are 10 things you must do before making someone redundant:
- Give a paid notice period ahead of redundancy (the length depends on employees’ contract and length of service).
- Carry out a meaningful consultation process to justify your reasons for the redundancies and ensure the process is fair and objective.
- Invite employees to take part in the consultation process in writing.
- Ask employees to attend at least one meeting during the process.
- Detail any severance payments in writing. Employees with more than two years’ service are entitled to at least the statutory minimum.
- Don’t use a “last in, first out” approach – that ended years ago.
- Pay furloughed employees redundancy pay based on their standard wage, not their furlough wage.
- Ensure it’s a fair process that doesn’t discriminate. Selection is based on set criteria that should not discriminate.
- Don’t pre-select employees before the consultation period or selection period.
- Do allow reasonable time off for job interviews.
Help for employers during the redundancy process
Handling human emotions is always challenging, and every business has different needs and experiences.
Our expert advice will ease your redundancy process and help achieve a positive outcome for all.
You can also download our free restructuring kit, full of advice and useful templates, to help you steer your business through times of change.
Need extra support in making redundancies? Tercus HR are experts in understanding you and your business, and we’re here to help. Together, we can find the right redundancy solution for your workplace and implement it smoothly and successfully.
Contact us on 0330 555 1139 or firstname.lastname@example.org