Making redundancies due to Coronavirus

April 14th, 2020

Coronavirus might be the biggest obstacle that is generation of businesses has come up against. The uncertainty caused by lack of demand and enforced closures is forcing businesses to change the way they operate.

Many business owners are currently making difficult decisions in order to ensure a long term future for their business. One of these decisions might be whether redundancies are needed.

If you decide that redundancies are necessary as a result of the Coronavirus, it is essential that the correct procedures are followed. Redundancies might appear like a straightforward way to save costs, but if handled incorrectly, redundancies can end up costing a business more than they save. Businesses that do not follow the correct procedures during the redundancy process could be faced with crippling claims for compensation.

Even in these turbulent times where businesses are forced to act quickly, a fair redundancy selection and consultation process must be followed.

A fair process

A fair selection process is essential in establishing groups of employees for redundancy. Following that, the application of the selection criteria to identify individuals for redundancy should also be fair and alternative employment should be considered. Employers must consult with affected employees on an individual basis. The selection process must be objective and cannot discriminate on protected characteristics or personal preference.

Employee consultation

If unfortunately you need to make more than 20 members of staff redundant, then you must enter a consultation with employees that must begin at least 30 days before the first dismissal. The consultation should be with a union representative or employee elected representatives. If you need to make 100+ employees redundant, then this period increases to 45 days. Affected employees must be given the correct notice, either statutory or the notice outlined in their contract of employment.

How we can help

We can support your business through the redundancy process, ensuring that your business is not at risk of unfair dismissal claims. If you would like further advice on the redundancy process, or information on the alternatives to redundancy during this time, then our expert employment team is here to help. Email us at enqs@donnelly-elliott.co.uk or call us on 02392 50 55 00.

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