An increasing number of clients made enquiries to advo hr last month about potential redundancy situations. We discuss when it may be considered fair to dismiss someone on the grounds of redundancy and when it may not.
The hardest part of any redundancy process is at the beginning when you identify their may be a need for it. There are many factors to consider as part of this stage of the process. We recommend clients get in touch with us at this early stage before staff are notified in order for us to fully support.
Redundancy can be a fair reason for dismissal but only where there is a genuine need for it in the following circumstances:
- Closure of a business
- Closure of a workplace
- Reduced need for employees
The first two circumstances are a lot more straightforward to identify. Where there is a diminished need for employees the reason for this could be due to a change in working practices such as new technology which takes over a role; fewer employees to do the same job; or less work available.
The employer would need to show they had a strong justifiable business reason for making someone redundant and they would need to follow a full consultation process prior, to show they followed a fair and transparent process. The employer would need to consider any ways that could prevent or reduce the number of redundancies during the consultation process. The Company should consider any suitable alternative employment within the business. Redundancy should be an absolute last resort.
Circumstances when redundancy may not be the appropriate route or may be risky may include:
- Where an employee is under-performing;
- Where the reason for dismissal is linked to an employee’s health condition or attendance;
- Where other employees in the same or similar role are not put in the pool at risk of redundancy;
- Where there is a conduct issue;
- Where the Company have not attempted to consider or look at ways to prevent a redundancy situation;
- Due to an employee being out of the office for a long period. e.g. maternity/paternity/ shared parental leave or long-term sickness absence.
If you have such concerns contact advo hr.