advo hr has been working alongside SMEs since the beginning of the lockdown helping these employers tackle the fallout from the pandemic. Employers need to know that expert help is at hand to help with restructuring and wider challenges faced.
There were a record number of redundancies – 370,000 – in the period from August to October and in a poll commissioned by and published by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (acas) in October 2020, it found that over a third of employers (37%) are likely to make staff redundancies in the next few months.
The furlough scheme is due to end on 30th April 2021 and businesses may now be forecasting any future growth or profit deficit. Some may be considering restructures and redundancies.
The poll carried out by acas found that 1 in 4 (24%) bosses are unaware of the law around consulting staff before making redundancies and this increases to 1 in 3 (33%) where businesses have fewer than 50 workers.
The data provided by acas illustrates that business leaders are unaware of the law around consulting staff before making redundancies.
In many SME’s, there will be no HR expertise and if companies have a limited budget, they may feel that legal advice is an expense that they cannot afford. Some may look online for answers and the procedure to follow, but this is a risky approach.
Redundancy is a complex area of employment law and the process must be precisely followed. There is specific legislation which includes but is not limited to fair selection, maternity protection and suitable alternative employment etc.
Circumstances differ, there will be a number of challenges and number of different approaches to be considered. A linear approach would not be appropriate and could present significant risk.
Where business leaders do not follow due process in relation to redundancies, a claim may be submitted at Employment Tribunal. Any claim made, whether or not successful is always costly in terms of management time and legal costs. However, an unfair dismissal claim, which may be pursued if a redundancy process has not been followed, has a maximum compensatory award of £86,444 and discrimination claims have unlimited compensation.
Claims lodged at the Employment Tribunal surged during lockdown and between April and June 2020, claims increased by 18%. There are now a number of solicitors offering ‘no win, no fee’ representation to aggrieved employees and it is anticipated that claims will increase further in the coming months.
Legal advisors are stating that the best way for employers to minimise the risk of a claim is to take advice at an early stage.
Forward planning is essential as there are specified time frames for consultation periods dependent on the number of employees at risk and advo hr would encourage employers to consider the future of their workforce now.
advo hr are offering a very competitively priced HR Crisis Package to support businesses navigate their way through redundancy. This is a unique offering providing personal expert HR advice, guidance and supporting documentation to employers, negating the risk of any subsequent claim at tribunal.
The offer also includes additional support to train your management team and equip any redundant employees in their search to find alternative future employment.
You can find out more about how advo hr supports employers through challenging times by downloading our Crisis Package leaflet here.
Alternatively you can email advo hr on firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.
Download advo hr’s Crisis Support document here.