During the current COVID-19 situation, many employers will be looking to designate employees as “Furloughed Workers”, sending them home and claiming 80% of their pay from the Government Fund. This should be done with employee agreement as this is a contractual change, however it is likely that the majority of employees would agree as this would ensure some measure of financial certainty. However, if any employees do not agree to be furloughed for any reason, employers may have to consider making redundancies and we have set out the below guidance on that particular area of law.

What Is a Redundancy Situation?

Employers often have to adapt to changing market conditions, especially in light of the current impact of COVID-19. Essentially, redundancy is used to describe a situation where an employer decides it needs to reduce the number of its employees, either within the business as a whole, or within a particular job role. An employer may decide to make redundancies for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Recession or other economic pressures
  • Changes in the nature of products or services provided
  • Internal re-organisation
  • Technological developments
  • Relocation of the business

What Do I Need to Know?

The law in this area allows for a great deal of common sense. Employers have a degree of flexibility to deal with restructuring and redundancy processes in a way that suits their business. However there are some key points to consider, such as:

  • Having a robust business case in place to support the proposed redundancy
  • Until any decisions have been made, ensure that you are only proposing to make redundancies – this is crucial.
  • Make sure those affected are given all the relevant information in relation to the proposals and adequate time to consider that information.
  • During consultations, ensure that you show conscientious consideration to any suggestions your employees raise to potentially avoid redundancy.
  • Consider how many dismissals you may need to make – if you are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant, there is a statutory consultation process that will need to be followed.

If you are considering making redundancies, either in response to the COVID-19 situation or for any other reason and would like further advice and assistance, please contact Charlie Wood on 0161 475 7673 or email [email protected].