As an employer, you must follow the correct redundancy procedure or risk an Employment Tribunal ruling that a genuine redundancy is an unfair dismissal. Businesses will often use our Leeds redundancy solicitors to ensure they are following a fair and legal process.
1. Advanced warning
You should give sufficient warning of any potenitally impending redundancies and inform the relevant workforce that it may affect them. Any staff members that are currently absent, for whatever reason (including maternity and disability), you must also contact these employees.
2. Fair selection
In most cases, you should identify a selection of employees from which to select who will be made redundant. If there is only one employee who will be potentially affected, there is no need for a selection pool.
Selection pools can be challenged by staff if they do not feel that the pool is wide enough or some people that have been chosen are not relevant.
3. Redundancy selection criteria
Once the pool has been agreed upon, you need to determine how employees will be selected for redundancy. A list of criteria should be drawn up to reflect your employer’s business priorities in order to retain the best employees.
Criteria must not be discriminatory and must stand up to objective assessment or measurement. Care is needed to avoid indirect discrimination.
Criteria must also make sense from a business perspective.
The last in-first out method has previously been a popular sole selection criterion. While this method is both simple, and on the face of it fair, it may not produce the desired result for your selection.
A dismissal is automatically unfair where you are selected for an inadmissible reason, for example, because the staff member is pregnant.
Some businesses looking to use a point-scoring system when staff can earn more points based on:
Skills needed to take the business forward
Sickness record (discounting any absence for disability or pregnancy related reasons)
Length of service
You are required to ensure proper and meaningful consultation with employees selected for potential redundancy takes place. This chat should have the aim of finding ways of avoiding dismissal (if at all possible). Options to avoid redundancy might include:
a reduction in hours.
5. Alternative employment
Genuine efforts to find suitable alternative employment in the business or any associated company must be made. If available, this should be offered to you during the consultation process.
Only after the consultation process is complete – 30 days if more than 20 employees are being made redundant – should notice be given to those chosen for redundancy.
You will need to inform your staff of any decision and notify them of their right to appeal. Failure to do this might make the dismissal unfair on procedural grounds.