Lots of difficult situations present themselves for employers on a regular basis – The HR Company aims to assist employers with their challenging role by giving pratical advice on all HR related activities

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One of our consultants was asked a question by an employer about redundancy – 

Unfortunately, with the recent economic climate, my business simply doesn’t justify eleven employees anymore. Things have become very quiet for us and I am struggling to make ends meet. I feel I need to get down to approximately seven employees to ride-out the downturn. What is the process that I should follow in order to stay compliant in this situation?

The HR Company advice:

Many companies are finding themselves in similar situations in this economy. Initially, the owner should determine if this quiet period is one that is expected to be short term or longer term. If the quiet period is expected to be for a few weeks or months the owner should consider placing employees on reduced working hours or possibly laying off some staff for the short term.

Alternatively, if the business cannot sustain the number of employees they currently hold, then redundancies will need to be considered. All other avenues should be exhausted prior to making the decision to make positions redundant. There is a strict redundancy selection process that has to be followed when making job roles redundant. Remember that it is the role that is made redundant rather than the employee – One cannot make an employee redundant and then hire a replacement in their role the next day.

Common employer pitfall:

If a business does not engage with introducing any of these measures with employees in the correct way, the employee may leave the company (i.e. if on a short working week or on lay-off) and claim Constructive Dismissal which could see the employee awarded a large sum. If the correct redundancy process is not followed a former employee may make a claim of Unfair Dismissal or Unfair Selection for Redundancy which can run to high costs for your business in the long run.

Redundancy Procedure Guide