Redundancy Procedures and Consultations

Planning and executing a redundancy and restructuring consultation process can be a stressful time for any employer. Our experienced team of redundancy and restructuring solicitors based in Manchester can help make your redundancy and restructuring consultation process as smooth and undisruptive as possible.

We advise companies on their restructuring and redundancy consultations and can take the pressure off HR personnel carrying out a restructuring and redundancy consultation process by providing robust legal and commercial advice, alongside value-added materials such as project plans, information packs and videos for your employees.

Businesses with even the most experienced HR teams can get a redundancy and restructuring consultation wrong, as new case law is developing all the time. One of the main aims of a redundancy is to reduce costs, but executing the process inevitably brings the risk of greater costs and unhelpful distractions in the form of future claims.

Achieve peace of mind when conducting a redundancy consultation

Through our experience of working with employers and understanding their needs, we have worked with an insurer to develop an innovative offering that helps businesses through redundancy programmes with fixed legal costs and the backing of insurance cover for any future claims that could arise. This means that, as a business, you have the opportunity to fix your costs for our legal advice to support your process, plus the ability to cap your exposure through insurance.

This should provide you with complete financial peace of mind that the whole redundancy process can be concluded for a fixed, known cost. Find out more about our fixed-cost redundancy support service.

What our clients say

“We recently engaged the team at Kuits to support us with our recent redundancy processes. As an SME without an HR function, a redundancy programme is not something we are used to conducting, and we were therefore aware of the risks and chance of getting this wrong. Kuits provided an invaluable service, helping to manage the process from start to finish, ensuring there was as little disruption to the business as possible. This element was extremely important to us, as we focus on maintaining the health of the business during these difficult market conditions. As a close-knit team, it was important to us that the process was handled efficiently and sensitively, so as not to impact on our company culture and the performance of the team going forward. Kuits not only understood and respected this point, but provided added-value advice and support to help us achieve a harmonious outcome in what was an undesirable situation for us. We opted to add on the insurance element to the service, which gives us the security of knowing any future costs are covered should an employee decide to try and bring a claim against us. We would not hesitate in recommending Kuits to other SME employers considering a redundancy process.” Managing Director, North West SME manufacturing and retail business

Common questions on redundancy procedures we get asked as lawyers

Here are the answers to some common questions we get from employers as specialist redundancy lawyers:

What is redundancy?

Under legislation, ‘redundancy’ is defined as a disappearing job, disappearing workplace, or a situation where the employer requires fewer employees to carry out work of a particular kind.

What are the risks for the employer in the handling of a redundancy process?

Employers need to ensure that they have correctly identified whether there is a genuine redundancy situation. If redundancy, as defined by law, is not the reason for the dismissal, there is a risk that the dismissals may be declared unfair. Redundancies can also be declared unfair even where there is a genuine redundancy situation if the employer does not follow a fair procedure. What amounts to a fair procedure will depend, in part, on the circumstances and the numbers of employees affected and at risk but as a minimum employers will be expected to give employees warning, consult with them (and possibly their representatives), make fair selections, consider alternatives to redundancy and permit employees to appeal against their dismissal.

Employers risk the possibility of unfair dismissal claims and may also face claims for discrimination.

What is discussed at a consultation meeting?

At a consultation meeting you should discuss with your employee:

· The need for redundancies

· The selection criteria

· The scoring system and how it applies to them

· Whether there are any opportunities for them to work in different areas of the business.

What if there is a vacancy for an alternate role?

If there are any vacancies, these should be raised with the employee during the consultation period and they should be offered the opportunity to apply for or be appointed to alternate roles.

If an employee is selected for redundancy, should they get a chance to appeal the decision?

Yes. If an employee is selected for redundancy, they should get the chance to appeal the decision and attend an appeal meeting.

Will employees be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment?

As long as an employee has two years’ service, they will qualify for a statutory redundancy payment. Calculation of the statutory redundancy payment will depend on their continuous service in the business, their age and weekly pay. For the purposes of calculating payment, weekly pay is capped at an amount determined in April each year. The length of service that is considered is capped at 20 years.

What kind of support can our business give to redundant employees?

Employees who have been given notice of dismissal may, subject to meeting certain conditions, have a legal right to time off during working hours to look for a new job or to arrange training for future employment. It is open to employer’s to grant leave to employees who do not qualify for this time off as of right. Some employers also provide employees affected by redundancy with outplacement support to help them navigate the job market and give them the best chance of securing new work. Employers can also sometimes help by providing or helping with networking opportunities.

Our employment law team is ranked by Legal 500 for its expertise. Contact us on 0161 832 3434 for a no obligation discussion of your options around redundancy.

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