Employment Law: Redundancy Guidance | December 2023
Unfortunately, during uncertain times employers need to make some very difficult decisions regarding their workforce needs. During the cost-of-living crisis there has been an unfortunate rise in redundancies. Indeed, the ONS reported in March 2023 that redundancy rates have increased to pre-pandemic levels.
A recent EAT ruling (De Bank Haycocks v ADP RPO UK Ltd - September 2023) may have implications for some employers and their redundancy policies and practices.
XpertHR recently reported that "The EAT made it clear that consultation about proposed redundancies (either individual or collective) should begin at a formative stage of a redundancy process to allow the workforce to give input on ways of avoiding redundancies. This is the case even where there is no obligation to consult with a union or employee representatives."
Consultation at this stage should cover:
- Providing adequate information to the workforce
- Allowing adequate time for responses
- Conscientious consideration to all responses received from affected employees
While each case will depend on its particular facts, a dismissal for redundancy will usually be unfair where there has been no consultation or insufficient consultation.
There are some fundamental points that employers should consider; ensuring that the relevant case law on what amounts to reasonableness in a redundancy situation are followed. The EAT highlights specifically that "collective consultation reflects good industrial relations in either type of workplace, and that such consultation - better described as 'general workforce consultation' should commonly occur at the formative stages of a process. The focus here is that although the law is less clear on ‘unrepresented’ workforce (where there isn’t a recognised trade union), the same approach should be adopted in the modern employment environment."
NB: This information is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law. However, if you have any HR issues on this or any other HR matters and would like to talk them through with our team, please contact us.
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