HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

It’s been another busy week at The HR Booth, where we have been solving customer problems and helping with HR related enquiries.

Here’s another question we’ve been asked to respond to this week.

Question

Can I make permanent employees redundant while I have agency staff carrying out similar roles?

Answer

If you make permanent employees redundant while retaining agency staff in your business to carry out the same or similar work, it raises the question of whether or not the redundancies are genuine or necessary.

You will need to demonstrate that you require fewer people to carry out this type of work, and this could be difficult if you continue to use agency workers.  If you can demonstrate that the agency workers are only used in specific circumstances, perhaps where there is a limited requirement for certain work to be carried out short-term and that your permanent employees are not required in those roles as part of the long-term plans for the business, you could justify redundancies on that basis.

Remember, if you have 20 or more people being made redundant, you will need to consult for at least 30 days, and if it's 100 or more staff, a minimum of 45 days consultation is required.

The agency question may come up during a consultation, so you will need to consider this when responding to people during your consultation meetings.

If you would like further information on redundancies, please get in touch.