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Redundancy Advice for Employers

Expert redundancy legal advice for employers

If you are considering making an employee redundant, it is important to follow the correct procedure right from the start. Failure to do so means you risk facing a claim for unfair dismissal.

The redundancy process is complex, with many different steps. Your employees have extensive rights, and you need to ensure these are observed and that your own position is safeguarded.

At Stephen Rimmer Solicitors, our employment team can guide you through making an employee redundant, from ensuring that you have addressed the initial requirements of considering other options and consulting with those affected through to dealing with notices and appeals.

We have in-depth expertise in redundancy matters, particularly in more complex cases, and we will work with you to make sure you are compliant with the strict legislation and that you have the support and guidance you need.

How we can help with redundancy advice for employers

Redundancies are never easy to deal with. Our expert redundancy lawyers can represent you throughout, providing clear and pragmatic advice and making sure we are available to answer any questions as they arise.

Our redundancy legal advice and services include the following:

  • Advice on key legal issues to consider when making redundancies
  • Making sure redundancy proceedings are fair to minimise the risk of legal challenges
  • Advice in respect of selection criteria
  • Drafting redundancy settlement agreements
  • Responding to employment claims in relation to redundancies

Consult our redundancy solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

For clear, expert redundancy advice, please contact a member of our employment law team for a no obligation discussion:

For more information on our services, see employment law for employers.

Redundancy FAQs

Do employers have to consult with employees before making redundancies?

There is a legal requirement for an employer to consult with employees who have worked for them for at least two years before making anyone redundant. This should be done well in advance of any decisions wherever possible.

If you will need to make 20 or more employees redundant, you are legally required to inform and consult their union at least one month before giving notice. Where there is no union membership, the employees can elect representatives for the consultation process. This is referred to as collective consultation, and the process should be strictly followed.

What needs to be covered in a redundancy consultation?

If you have a redundancy process set out in your employee handbook or another policy document, it is important to follow this. If you are making no more than 19 individuals redundant, there is no set requirement for how the consultation should take place, although you must ensure the process is fair.

You should have individual meetings with those at risk of redundancy as well as those who will be affected by the redundancies. If necessary, the meeting can be by phone or video link.

The employees should be told of your plans for redundancies and why they are necessary. You are required to consider whether there are any alternative options to redundancy, so you can discuss this with them as well as advise them of how you will be selecting people for redundancy.

The consultation process should be meaningful, requiring you to properly consider any suggestions that are put forward.

Where 20 or more employees are at risk of redundancy, you will also need to consult with the employee representatives as well as put in writing the following information:

  • Why redundancies are needed
  • Which jobs are no longer needed
  • How many jobs are affected
  • How employees will be selected
  • How redundancies will be carried out
  • How redundancy pay will be calculated
  • Details of any agency workers being used

How much notice do you need to give before making someone redundant?

You will either need to give someone the statutory amount of notice or, if their employment contract entitles them to more notice than this, then notice in accordance with their contract.

Statutory notice is as follows:

  • A minimum of one week’s notice if employed between one month and two years
  • One week’s notice for each year where employed for between two and twelve years
  • Twelve weeks’ notice if employed for twelve years or more

Employees will also need to be paid throughout this notice period or, where they are not required to work it, paid in lieu. Notice pay is based on average pay received for the twelve weeks prior to the notice period starting.

Can you make someone redundant if their job still exists?

When making redundancies, you need to consider all available options. This includes whether you can retrain or redeploy staff into different roles. When considering who to make redundant, you need to select a pool of candidates. This will include everyone in the role that is no longer required, as well as those in similar roles. An employer has some flexibility in making these decisions but must be seen to act fairly.

Employees in similar roles can only be excluded if there is a good reason for doing so. Once you have a redundancy pool, you are required to apply redundancy criteria to the pool. This is generally done by awarding points for different categories, such as performance, skills and qualifications, attendance and disciplinary record.

By applying fair redundancy selection criteria, you could select someone for redundancy whose job still exists, but where it could be done by someone else whose job no longer exists but who could move to this role.

Deciding who should be at risk of redundancy and applying fair selection criteria is not always easy, and it is advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that you avoid any allegations of unfair dismissal.

If you can no longer afford to pay someone, but you could afford to take on a cheaper employee, then you may be able to make them redundant if you can show that you have ‘some other substantial reason’ for the redundancy. You would need to discuss with them whether they would accept lower pay before taking action. This is an exceptionally complex process and must not be undertaken without legal advice, as it would be very easy to end up facing a claim for unfair dismissal and/or breach of their employment contract.

What are the legal risks when making redundancies?

If your redundancy process is not properly followed or is unfair in any respect, you could face a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal.

If you attempt to change an employee’s contractual terms and conditions, you could be in breach of the terms of their contract of employment.

It is important to go through the correct procedure, not only to avoid a legal claim but also so that your remaining staff can be assured of your proper conduct. You should ensure that all steps are properly documented.

If you believe that any difficulties may arise, it is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Often, early intervention can quickly resolve what might otherwise turn into protracted legal wrangling and ultimately a tribunal claim.

Our redundancy solicitors’ fees

It is our aim to provide excellent quality legal advice and outstanding client service at a competitive rate.

We offer fixed fees for some work so that you can be sure of the costs involved from the start. Where fixed fees are not available, we will give you a clear estimate of the costs at the outset and the hourly rate of the individuals who will be working on your case.

Find out more about our hourly rates and the way we charge for our work.

Speak to our redundancy solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises employers all across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with redundancy advice for employers, please contact our expert team now:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.