So, what five mistakes do employers commonly make when handling redundancies? As well-known retailers and restaurants close down and disappear from our high streets with Homebase, House of Fraser, Toys R Us, Homebase and Prezzo among the latest companies to suffer. More and more businesses face closures or reductions in staff numbers to cope with financial losses.
What five mistakes do employers commonly make when handling redundancies? One is to start collective redundancy consultation too late. Sometimes this is because those at the top retain hope that business will improve or do not want staff to see the company is in trouble.
Employers’ collective redundancy consultation obligations are triggered once they are proposing to make 20 or more redundancies at one establishment, within a period of 90 days or less.
Consultation must begin in good time and 45 days before the first dismissal is to take effect. If 100 or more employees are affected at the same establishment; or 30 days before the first dismissal is to take effect, if 20 to 99 employees are affected at the same establishment.
The collective consultation should be completed before you provide employees with notices of termination of employment.
The second is not conducting a meaningful redundancy consultation. Employers frequently see the process of consulting with staff over redundancies as a box-ticking exercise and do not realise that there should be a genuine dialogue about the proposals.
Union representatives must be consulted about ways of avoiding redundancies, reducing the number of redundancies, and mitigating the consequences of redundancy.
Overall, you must approach the consultation with an open mind and be prepared to consider employees’ views. If ways of avoiding or reducing the number of redundancies are put forward, these should be properly considered and not dismissed out of hand.
The third is not informing and consulting on an individual basis. Individual consultation with employees remains essential, even where your obligation to consult collectively has been triggered.
Individual consultation involves you explaining to each employee the basis on which they have been provisionally selected for redundancy. Also give the employee the opportunity express their views, raise any questions, and discuss any alternatives to redundancy.
As with the collective consultation process, an individual consultation process must be concluded before an employee is provided with notice of termination of employment. If you serve notice prior to completing an individual consultation, you put yourself at risk of an unfair dismissal claim being made against you in an employment tribunal. Usually on the grounds that the process was not followed and the redundancy predetermined.
The fourth is not looking out for alternative employment for redundant employees. One of the most significant things that an employer can do to minimise the unfairness for a redundant employee is to determine if there are any vacancies that would be suitable for them.
This could include moving the employee to any other company sites if you have one. If there are vacancies at a different location. You should be open minded about alternative positions and not assume that employees would not be willing to relocate. The safest course of action is to provide employees with details of all vacant positions.
You are not obliged to create new jobs for redundant employees. However, making an employee redundant without considering alternative employment increases the risk of a an unfair dismissal tribunal claim being made against you.
The fifth and final mistake is forgetting your employees who are left behind following redundancies. You should never underestimate the impact that redundancies have on staff who remain behind. A failure to support redundancy survivors can be fatal to the success of a reorganisation.
It is vital that employees affected by redundancies are involved in the redundancy consultation exercise. Even if those individuals are not themselves at risk of losing their jobs. The earlier redundancy survivors are involved in discussions, the more likely the success will be once the dust settles.
Once the redundancies have been made, survivors should be provided with support. Therefore, give guidance and training to help them to cope with any changes to their role.
If you think you maybe be looking at making redundancies in the near or future or simply want to know more about what five mistakes do employers commonly make when handling redundancies, then please call us on 01706 565332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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