In the current financial climate, redundancies are commonplace as businesses try to make themselves as cost-efficient as possible.
Employment law in the UK requires that detailed and complex processes and procedures are followed when a business is considering making redundancies. Failure to follow the correct procedures will likely result in a claim of unfair dismissal against your company.
We can advise and support businesses from start to finish of a redundancy process.
Staff members who have provided your company with at least two years’ continuous service are entitled to receive statutory redundancy pay. There are very few exceptions to this rule, but at Else Solicitors we can confirm whether or not your business needs to make redundancy payments.
We also have experience in collective redundancies, which is where an employer proposes to make 20 or more employees redundant within a period of 90 days or less. In such cases there are some extra requirements for the company to consider.
Fair and proper procedure
To avoid a genuine redundancy situation ending up in a finding of unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal, a business must follow the correct procedure. Employees must be consulted as early as possible in the redundancy process. Employers must be able to prove that the way employees were selected for redundancy was fair.
Our specialist solicitors can advise you on every step of a fair and proper procedure. This can include hands-on advice and support to enable you to run a consultation process that explores all genuine alternatives to redundancy, and then helps you run a fair selection process if redundancies prove inevitable.
If a business is considering making redundancies, they may choose to invite workers to apply for voluntary redundancy. If compulsory redundancies can be avoided, the business usually suffers less disruption and upheaval. However the company should consider the genuine needs of the business before agreeing to any requests for voluntary redundancy and reserve the right to refuse any requests on the basis of the needs of the business.
A proper procedure still needs to be followed to prevent any claims for failing to do so.
Many employers now routinely use settlement agreements to prevent employees making Employment Tribunal claims after they have been made redundant. Settlement agreements can also be used to settle other types of employment-related disputes. Under a settlement agreement, your employee signs away their right to make a future claim against you at an Employment Tribunal in return for an enhanced payment.
We can help you draft a settlement agreement that is specific to the needs and protection of your business and, where necessary, negotiate on your behalf to achieve advantageous settlement terms.
To speak to a solicitor who specialises in redundancies, please contact the HR and employment team on 01283 526200, alternatively you can send us a message and we will get in touch at a time that suits you.