You might be thinking about making redundancies in your organisation. Despite Covid-19 and the impact this is having on the economy, you must still comply with UK employment legislation when making staff redundant.

We have recently shared details with you on how to conduct the at Risk Meeting and a consultation meeting – if you didn’t catch these, you can view here.

Pools

Before commencing redundancy consultation, it’s important you consider your “pools”.  This means the roles you’re looking to reduce.  For example, if you’re looking to reduce the number of Project Managers in your business, everyone doing this role will be in the “pool”. You also need to consider roles that are broadly similar, so it’s important before commencing any redundancy consultation to take advice.

Consultation 

You need to consult with employees when you are proposing making redundancies. This involves explaining why the role is being made redundant, explore any alternatives to redundancy and listen to their views.

If you are proposing to make up to 19 redundancies, there are no rules about how you should carry out the consultation or the timeframe. We would still advise you to follow a consultation process, which would involve a series of meetings. In our experience, this can be achieved in less than 30 days, but the key factor is to demonstrate meaningful consultation.

If you are proposing to make 20 or more people redundant, you need to comply with collective consultation.  This means you need to consult with nominated employee representatives for a minimum of 30 days.  If you’re proposing 100 or more redundancies, the minimum consultation period is 45 days.

You also need to complete an HR1 formwhen proposing 20 or more redundancies.

Collective consultation

Follow these steps.

  • You must notify the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) before a consultation starts. The deadline depends on the number of proposed redundancies. Use the HR1 formto do this.
  • Consult with trade union representatives or elected employee representatives – or with staff directly if there are none.
  • Provide information to representatives or staff about the planned redundancies, giving representatives or staff enough time to consider them.
  • Respond to any requests for further information.
  • Give any affected staff termination notices showing the agreed leaving date.
  • Issue redundancy notices once the consultation is complete.

 

Things to consider at Consultation: 

  • Discuss business reasons as to why you are proposing making redundancies
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Part Time Working/Reduction in hours/flexible working patterns
  • Other roles in the organisation
  • Reduction in salary which could reduce number of redundancies required
  • Opportunities for taking unpaid sabbatical
  • Defer any bonus payments due
  • Discuss whether any contractual or other employee benefits can be reduced/stopped
  • Review discretionary spend and make savings where you can
  • Simplify your working processes and reduce costs – ie home working
  • Recruitment freeze
  • Support available for your employees at risk of redundancy – interviews, outplacement, CV writing etc

 

Note Taking 

Take notes of what’s discussed. There may be questions you can’t answer, so document these and ensure you provide feedback by the time you next meet. Any agreed actions should be documented.

We would also suggest you and the employee sign the notes, along with their representative. If you can’t provide these directly after the meeting, do so as early as possible.

Some meetings might be carried out via video technology, depending on the circumstances in your business. You could get agreement to record the consultation meeting – if so, please ensure GDPR regulations are adhered to in terms of where such a recording will be stored and who has access.

If you need some help in planning for the consultation meeting, you can check out the video again here.

Selection Criteria

Where you have more than 1 person performing a role, as identified in your pools, you will need to have a selection criteria to determine who is being selected for redundancy.

Your selection criteria must be fair and objective, and you should share details of the scoring matrix you intend to use during consultation.  You should ask for comments and views on the proposed scoring matrix.

The selection criteria will cover things like:

  • Quality of Work
  • Performance
  • Flexibility
  • Attendance and Timekeeping
  • Disciplinary Records
  • Skills, training and competencies

You should be aware of any discriminatory factors that could breach the Equality Act, such as absences related to pregnancy or disability.  When scoring employees, you need to give some evidence as to how you’ve scored, and each employee being made redundant should be giving a copy of their own scoring matrix.  This is where things like having regular 1-1s and review meetings can help as that forms part of your evidence.

Employees can also be given the scoring matrices for those staff not made redundant should they appeal against the decision you have reached.

Doing The Right Thing

Unfortunately, we’re having to help a number of businesses with redundancies at the moment. When consulting about redundancies, it’s important as a Leader that you show empathy, listen to your employee’s views and put yourself in their shoes. In addition, display your company values, do the right thing, and please get advice before starting any consultation process.

Do You Need Help with Redundancies? 

Redundancies can be a confusing process. However, it doesn’t have to be. At The HR Booth, we rely on decades of combined experience to find alternatives to redundancies if possible or, if not, to execute the process with skill and according to proper procedure.

Learn more about our redundancy services by contacting us on 01383 668178 or info@thehrbooth.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can access our Redundancy Toolkit to help you make sure your business complies with UK employment law when making redundancies.

In this toolkit, we have provided a webinar on some practical steps to follow when proposing to make redundancies, which covers how to identify your “pools”, the consultation process and the appropriate steps you should make.

If you download our toolkit will also get access to a 30-minute video call with one of our team to discuss any aspect of redundancies, or other HR related matters.

This Toolkit includes:

  • Webinar
  • Sample “At Risk Letter” and Invite to Consultation Meeting
  • Video on how to complete at risk meeting
  • Video on how to complete consultation meeting
  • HR1 form
  • Sample Selection Matrix
  • Invite to consultation meetings
  • Consultation Notes checklist
  • Video on how to inform employee they have been made redundant
  • Sample letter confirming redundancy
  • Letter to other staff confirming no longer at risk of redundancy
  • 30 Minute Video Call with one of our team

 

We look forward to answering any remaining questions you may have.