With many big brand names disappearing from our high streets forever, the knock-on effect of these kinds of events means large scale redundancies and more individuals looking for new employment. And it’s not just the high street that is making difficult decisions to let staff go, businesses of all shapes and sizes and across multiple industries have had a challenging 18 months, which means more enterprises than ever before are triggering the redundancy process and letting some of their workforce go.
As an employer who might be considering the redundancy process, you must speak to redundancy lawyers first. Consulting with a team of employment law solicitors before you go ahead means you’ll be legally supported throughout the process. From the planning and consultation aspects of redundancy to administrative duties, management support and the provision of outplacement support. Keeping your business aligned with employment law means safeguarding your company and ensuring the redundancy process is both fair and thorough for the employees affected.
But what about the practices that should be avoided? To keep your processes legal and justified, recognising the practices you shouldn’t participate in, is also important. Let’s explore them now.
Not Taking Legal Advice
By simply jumping in headfirst and triggering the redundancy process you’re putting yourself and your business at risk and could find yourself vulnerable to employment tribunals and challenges over your redundancy process. This would be disastrous for your business, as well as prove to be incredibly expensive and time-consuming. By consulting with specialist redundancy lawyers first, you can have all your current policies examined and audited, they can produce project plans and timetables for the process, effectively manage the process and keep it compliant and even support your business through the appeal process further down the line.
Neglecting Absent Employees
The consultation process should be fair and thorough, it’ll help keep things legal and help your business maintain its integrity. However, employers should avoid neglecting their absent employees during the consultation period. These employees could be on long term sick, on maternity or paternity leave, homeworkers and even those currently on furlough. It’s also important that absent employees aren’t placed at a disadvantage against your selection criteria, especially if this includes performance-related statistics.
Applying A “Last In – First Out” Approach
To put it plainly, this approach is considered unethical, unfair and is likely to land you in hot, legal water. This is because this stance is considered discriminatory, especially to younger employees. Of course, handling the redundancy process this way also means potentially losing some of your best performers, so in reality, it works for no one.
Failing To Train and Update Your Management Teams
Those in your management roles will undoubtedly bear the brunt of the consultation process. They may have to deliver the news, conduct selection assessments and even handle emotional employees. To prevent scenarios from escalating and to ensure that the process is handled legally and professionally, management must be updated and trained to handle the period correctly.
If you’re considering the redundancy process then ensure you seek legal advice to guide you through the consultation period and beyond.