Redundancy advice for employers

Redundancies and restructures are a typical part of any change in the business or organisation and getting the right redundancy advice is crucial for a smooth parting.

When a business is faced with difficult choices, that may result in job losses, there will be uncertainty and countless questions asked on both sides of the employer-employee relationship. What should unite all parties affected by redundancy should be a desire to remain as constructive and professional as possible.

In part one of this two-part article, we share some points for employers to consider throughout this process.

Plan your redundancy process thoroughly

Change is inevitable in a business’ journey and should be planned for well in advance. While redundancy may be a difficult and uncomfortable process to negotiate, it should be considered in the ongoing business planning process.

When the relationship between an employer and their employee is ending, careful thought is key to making this process as efficient and as painless as possible for both parties. The aim is to conduct your redundancies in a way that respects and supports the employee while mitigating risk for the business. Timely professional advice can help to support your redundancy planning and to guide you through the consultation process.

Establish firm and fair principles

The best way to keep redundancy or restructure discussions constructive is to follow fair, transparent and legally compliant processes. You should apply these consistently and without discrimination.

Many employers are deeply upset about the prospect of letting staff go and want to make sure they do their very best by their employees. Following a fair and open process based on firm principles can go a long way towards achieving that.

Communicate clearly and regularly 

Being open and available to staff is key to maintaining trust, both for those who may be leaving the business and those who will be retained going forward. The sooner the workforce understands the situation and how the company is proposing to address the issues, the better it will be for everyone involved.

Through communication and meaningful consultation with employees, creative and viable solutions can sometimes be uncovered that the employer may not have considered as part of the original redundancy plan.  Redundancy should always be the last resort, after all other options have been properly considered.

Remember, it’s all about people

For businesses under economic pressure it’s understandable to need to focus on the bottom line. However, when this translates to needing to let employees go from their roles, it’s important to remember that this process is about people.

The important legal and procedural stipulations are in place to support and respect the individuals at the heart of the process. Focus on positive solutions and don’t lose sight of an amicable conclusion.

Redundancy advice for protecting your business

A professional approach to dealing with the people involved is also the best way to ensure the business is protected throughout the process and afterwards. Ensuring all the legal issues are covered correctly will help to avoid claims from employees or complications in future. Employers have a duty to mitigate risk to their business for its continued survival, and in the interests of its retained or future employees.

There is a significant reputational risk for businesses whose redundancy processes do not support the welfare of their employees throughout. A disgruntled former employee can be damaging for any company, but this is a situation that can be avoided with due care, planning and by adhering to the right principles.

Seek professional advice

If you are an employer or an employee who would benefit from some advice and support on any of the above issues, please get in touch.