If you are a business in Kent or London you may be starting to look for redundancy support. No doubt you have heard it is one of the potential fair reasons to dismiss employees. No doubt you have heard following correct process is critical. You would be correct on both.
Following COVID many business in Kent, London and wider UK will have hoped for a strong bounce back. They had taken on extra debt during the pandemic in order to survive lockdowns. 2022 was going to be the return of better times. Then Russia invaded Ukraine. Fuel prices rocketed, which increased most other costs, sending inflation surging into double figures. The cost of living crisis has no end in sight and businesses or varying size, in multiple sectors are yet again wondering how they will survive.
Businesses may struggle to reduce many of their costs, such as electricity, raw materials or rent due to market forces. Wage bills are often a large percentage of a business’ total costs, and may represent the best chance of a company reducing costs in order to survive.
The last thing a business owner needs is to make redundancies, only to be hit with unfair dismissal tribunal claims in several month’s time. The redundancy process must be followed correctly, and therefore engaging with a professional HR consultant for redundancy process support will be worth every penny!
The following steps give a high-level outline of the process required. For further redundancy support, please contact us.
- Employer must show that the redundancies are genuine. The employer must act reasonably and shows that the redundancies have merit.
- Create a business case, explaining why the business potentially needs to look at redundancies.
- (Failure to get things right could be costly!)
- Clear evidence is required – trading patterns, evidence of a downturn in sales, profit & loss account evidence.
- Alternatives must be considered.
- Employees information chart produced, including notice periods, salaries etc.
- Proposed redundancies are presented – These are pre-consultation ideas and nothing should be said or done that makes the outcome predetermined.
- It is beneficial to create an organisational chart based on the current structure, and the post-redundancy structure.
- The employer should produce a proposed redundancy process timeline.
- Employers should give employees support during the process, including a FAQ sheet (which your HR consultant will be able to help you with)
The timings and process is very important. Reducing headcount by three members of staff could save a small business £90,000 but this would all be in vein if the company opens itself to unfair dismissal claims.
Image courtesy of ciphr.