In order to be eligible for a redundancy payment an employee has to have two years continuous employment with an employer. In order to render a redundancy legally safe, an employer has to follow a recognised redundancy procedure. The procedure can vary according to the number of redundancies or whether there is only one redundancy.
In all cases of redundancy large or small it is necessary for the employer to consult with the employee.
Sometimes, a redundancy may involve just one person who forms a unique role within an organisation and in those circumstances the redundancy is known as a non pool redundancy. In order for the redundancy to be safe an employer will have to consult with the person whose role is being made redundant about the proposal, and give them an opportunity of making representations so as to demonstrate why their role should not be made redundant and consider alternatives.
Sometimes an employer may have a number of employees, who perform a similar role, but it is not necessary to keep all of those positions in place. For example instead of having five carpenters and employer may require only three. Therefore in addition to the process outlined above for non pooled employees, an employer will have to put all of the candidates for redundancy at risk of redundancy and engage in a fair and objective redundancy selection process. This involves setting objective criteria from which to decide who stays and who goes. Normally a pool redundancy process will take a little longer than a non pool redundancy because of the extra meetings involved in agreeing and marking the redundancy selection criteria.
In cases of between 20 and 99 persons being made redundant in an organisation, some extra stages need to be built into the process. The employer will be obliged to organise a ballot of groups of employees or workers where there is no recognised Trade Union involved, or consult with recognised Trade Unions and representatives of either the Union, or the employees will then meet with the employer to discuss whether redundancies are in fact required and the mechanism by which people are selected and the process involved.
The employer will have to notify the Secretary of State it wants to make 20 or more persons redundant. If it fails to do this, directors can be fined in appropriate cases. It is important to note that no redundancy can take effect for a minimum of 30 days from the commencement of the process in respect of redundancies involving 20 – 99, and 45 days if more than 100 employees are being made redundant.
In recent years Davies and Partners Specialist Employment lawyers have acted on behalf of hundreds of employees who have been undergoing or have been dismissed for redundancy reasons. We have built up a wide ranging knowledge base of these issues and we can make a difference to the outcomes. Please contact our specialist team