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Category: Redundancy

Redundancy – when do you need to pool?

When you have more employees than roles available, you may need to ‘pool’ ‘at-risk’ employees to fairly decide who remains at risk of redundancy.

Be clear on the roles at risk – identifying which roles need to be pooled isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Do you have different job titles or job descriptions for the same roles, have job titles and job descriptions not kept up with the roles individuals are actually doing? This all needs to be considered.

Identify individuals carrying out the pooled roles – do a number of individuals interchange between different roles? In which case would it be reasonable to include those individuals within the pool?

Consider individuals at other sites – where individuals move around sites and all do the role that is at risk, consider whether each of those individuals needs to be pooled.

Bumping – bumping occurs when an ‘at-risk’ employee is retained in favour of an employee who isn’t at risk (usually as they have better skills for the retained role). While there is no obligation to bump, you need to consider whether it’s appropriate to do so and make a note of your thought process.

Consult – once you’ve decided on your pool, you’ll need to ensure that you discuss the pool with ‘at-risk’ individuals before going ahead and applying selection criteria. A fair redundancy process includes giving individuals the right to challenge the pool before scoring ‘at-risk’ individuals.

Get in touch if you need advice or support when planning or managing a redundancy situation. 

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: July 24th, 2023By |

Redundancy – should you be asking for volunteers?

If you’re having to navigate challenging decisions and potential business change, voluntary redundancy (VR) is a route recognised by tribunals as a way of lawfully avoiding compulsory job losses.

So, should you be asking for volunteers?

Why volunteer? – you’ll likely need some form of incentive if employees are going to offer to leave. Whether it’s a lump-sum tax-free payment, payment in lieu of notice, or holiday pay (rather than forcing individuals to take holiday during notice), you generally have the flexibility to offer a package that’s right for the business, but also tempting for employees.

Offer at any stage – VR can be offered at any point in the redundancy process. Usually though, you would offer VR at the beginning of a process as those who volunteer will not need to be taken through the remaining process.

Unfair dismissal – don’t forget that even if employees volunteer for redundancy, in law they’re classed as “dismissed” and so are still able to claim unfair dismissal. You, therefore, need to think carefully about how you frame the offer of VR. Be clear that you’re not prejudging the situation and ensure that your offer of VR doesn’t in any way discriminate against anyone with a protected characteristic.

Setting a deadline – usually a good idea! One of the big incentives for you to offer VR is that you’re unlikely to have to continue with the redundancy process for those volunteering. If however, you’re still going to have to go through the process then the longer their decision takes, the less benefit there is to you offering VR.

Pooling employees – if you’re doing so because you have more employees than roles available, think carefully before you offer VR (particularly if the VR offer comes before the scoring process). If individuals volunteer who you’d have preferred to keep, turning down their offer may show that you have prejudged the process and is likely to taint the rest of the discussions making successful unfair dismissal claims likely.

Always take advice before offering VR to ensure you’re doing so fairly, and reducing the risk of possible unfair dismissal claims. We have solutions to support – get in touch.

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: July 19th, 2023By |

Redundancy – the importance of consultation

Consultation is key to a fair redundancy process. But there’s more to consultation than the legal process – communication throughout is essential to reducing disruption and keeping your best people.

Here are our top five tips for starting an engaging, fair, and transparent redundancy process.

Cut out the rumours – prior to the first announcement, carefully plan the message that you want to land with every one of your employees (or at least those who will hear about the redundancies) in respect of the changes that you’re proposing. Start the communication process by ensuring that everyone is given the same message about the reasons for the proposed changes, those potentially affected and the next steps.

Straight-talking, clear messaging – rehearse carefully your key reasons for the possible changes. Be clear that the outcome is not predetermined and this is the start of a process designed to avoid redundancies. Be clear on the support available, when updates will be provided and how the end of the process will be communicated

Communication that works for your employees – whether it’s a video making the announcement about the start of a redundancy process, messaging from managers to their team or an online meeting, be sure to choose communication tools that work for your employees.

Shout out support – everyone deals with change differently. Whether an employee is at risk or just unsettled, shout out the routes to support that you can offer. Whether it’s an EAP helpline, financial support, or offers of counselling, be sure to remind employees regularly of the support available.

Keep on top of frequently asked questions – there’s a huge amount of information your employees will need to digest in the early stage of redundancy consultations. You’ll have many questions raised about the process, the payments, the alternatives and the fairness. Be ready to deliver the answers to those questions at the right time, in the right way and consider whether an up-to-date FAQs page on your intranet is a good way to deal with questions asked by many.

We can help ensure your consultation process runs as smoothly as possible – get in touch to discuss our solutions for support. 

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: July 3rd, 2023By |

Redundancy – be clear on your reasons

If you’re considering making redundancies, you need to be clear on your reasons. If you’re unable to explain clearly why there was a redundancy situation, you’ll be exposed to unfair dismissal claims of up to a year’s pay for each redundant employee.

Here’s what you need to know:

Focus on business needs – consider business priorities, whether annual plans are on track and if not, how they need to be adjusted. Is there reducing demand, do particular roles need reshaping or are they no longer affordable? A tribunal will check whether your reasons for change were genuine, or whether you’re dismissing for another reason (e.g. poor performance) but disguising the dismissal as redundancy.

Record your reasons – you’ll need to be able to show your reasons for redundancy at the time you made the decision. Save spreadsheets, business plans, sales figures, and anything else that shows your thinking at the time.

TUPE – if your reason for the change is outsourcing, you’ll need to take advice on whether you’re creating a TUPE transfer. However genuine your reasons, if outsourcing creates a TUPE transfer you’ll need to take extra care when making redundancies as employees subject to TUPE transfers are afforded enhanced employment law protection.

The safest option is to take advice before communicating your reasons. Intelligent Employment is here to help with individual redundancies and we have solutions for collective consultation processes too.

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
Posted On: June 19th, 2023By |