Whilst any sensible employer will ensure that any redundancies are always be handled sensitively, redundancy itself is one of the fair grounds on which an employer can terminate a contract of employment – if it is indeed a redundancy situation and if the employer follows the correct procedure.
Initially, a firm must establish that there stands a true redundancy situation. Such a situation arises when the job an employee did no longer exists. The statutory fulfillment of this definition is not always clear in instances where an organisation goes through a restructure, especially when it is carried out as a result of cost cutting rationale which is common in the current economic climate.
Employers are required to look at all options as well as adhere to the ACAS guidelines prior to settling on dismissal on grounds of redundancy. In doing this robbery, employers fulfill their requirement to act reasonably in making employees redundant.
In particular, insurers must ensure that following procedures are followed correctly prior to implementing redundancies:
Consultation with employees
A minimum statutory consultation period may have to be adhered to depending on employee numbers, although the employer is still required to consult even if it is only one employee. There must be time taken to consider all options, as well as considering ideas from employees. All this must be carried out to ensure the consultation is meaningful.
Employers should always offer voluntary redundancies where possible prior to enforcing redundancies on a compulsory basis.
The employer must ascertain the pool of associated employees and then apply objective selection criteria to identify the necessary number of redundancies.
Suitable alternative employment
Following the identification of those to be made redundant, an employer must assess options for alternative employment elsewhere in the organisation, through additional training or contract alterations. All changes must first be discussed and agreed with the employee prior to commencement. A period of one month must be given to both parties to assess the success of any implemented changes, at the end of which redundancy terms are still available to the employee. If the employer offers suitable alternative work and the employee refuses then they are seen to have resigned. On the other hand if no work is seen to exist then redundancy is continued and subsequent redundancy pay may be required.
Whether you are an employer who wants to make sure that they follow the right procedure and avoids the risk of an employment tribunal claim, or you’re an employee who believes that you have been unfairly dismissed – call our specialist employment lawyers today – or visit our specialist websites at
- http://www.employmenttribunalclaim.co.uk or