After redundancies – things to consider

Once you’ve gone through a fair and lawful redundancy process there will be a number of other things you need to do.

Notice

You will need to formally confirm the outcome and give the redundant employees the correct notice period. This will either be the notice period set out in their contract of employment or the statutory minimum of a week’s notice for each year of employment (to a maximum of 12 weeks), whichever is higher.

You can require employees to work their notice period, although how useful this will be is sometimes questionable. If you don’t want them to, you will need to either pay in lieu of their notice period or place them on garden leave.

If an employee wants to leave earlier than their notice period, you can release them early, and would not have to pay them the outstanding notice. If the reason they are leaving is to go to another job, it would not be normally be reasonable to withhold their statutory redundancy pay just because they haven’t served all their notice. If the new employer is making the new job conditional upon them starting sooner, you should release them early and pay them their redundancy entitlement.

During their notice period you will need to give employees reasonable paid time off for job hunting. This can include attending interviews but might also be appointments with recruitment consultants or time to prepare CVs.

Offering other jobs

It is a common myth that if you have a suitable alternative role come up in your business within a certain period of having made someone redundant, you should offer it to them, even though they have already left. This is not true at all, and there is no such obligation. Things change in business all the time, and just because a vacancy has arisen or you need to recruit a new role doesn’t mean it wasn’t a genuine redundancy in the first place.

However, naturally if you start recruiting a role that could look like a replacement immediately the person has left, it will give the impression that the redundancy wasn’t genuine at all.

An employee has up to three months to bring an unfair dismissal claim, therefore in order to protect the business it is sensible to either wait a few months before recruiting, or, if things change and you now have a role that could be suitable, contact your redundant employee and give them the opportunity to apply for it if they wish.

Managing the aftermath internally

There are likely to be a number of challenges once a redundancy process is over. Depending on the reason for redundancies, you may have staff in new roles where extra support and training is required.

Working location, hours or other arrangements may have changed as part of the process, which will need bedding in and monitoring to make sure the changes are implemented successfully.

And going through a redundancy process is stressful and traumatic for all involved, not just those who have lost jobs. You should bear this in mind and ensure managers provide enough support, and consider perhaps some team bonding activities or initiatives, as well as access to wellbeing support such as an Employee Assistance Programme if you have one.

 

If you’d like some advice on managing redundancies in your business, do get in touch.