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Making Staff Redundant – How to Do It in the Right Way

Staff redundancies are never easy, but sometimes they can be the best move for your business as a whole. You need to make sure that you are doing so in a thoughtful way to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are some tips to follow when making staff redundant.

Warn in Advance

These are people who have given up a considerable portion of their life to come and work for you. You need to make sure that you are therefore treating this period with the utmost respect and giving them plenty of advance warning that redundancies will be happening.

This will no doubt be a last resort for you as an employer. No-one wants to actively cut down their workforce, and this should be coming after a long period of trying other avenues. Never jump to redundancies as a first choice. It should be the very last action you could take.

Voluntary or Involuntary?

If you are committed to staff redundancies, you need to choose whether they will be voluntary or involuntary. Both paths have their own merits and so this requires some careful thought.

Voluntary redundancy is when you allow your employees to come to you for redundancy willingly. They might have a new career path in mind, or they might be just ready to move on with their lives. It is a path that can help protect those team members who might be relying on the job you have given them.

Involuntary redundancy is when you sit down and decide who amongst your team should be let go. You can make the decision on your own, or you might hold interviews to allow each team member to pitch their case to you as to whether they should stay. Try to make any such period as smooth and as fair for all staff in possible.

Remember, depending on the number of employees you are putting at risk within your organisation there are rules around the length of time you need to engage in consultation with them. You may also need to demonstrate you are assisting them with finding other work internally and externally of your organisations.  Failure to do so could leave your employee with a claim for unfair dismissal.

Agree a Severance Package

You might have to pay a statutory redundancy package to your staff. There are clear government guidelines for this, but it is usually for employees who have been with you for at least two years of continuous service.

The rates can differ depending on how old the employee is when they are made redundant, and how much they are paid in their base contract. You will also need to provide a written statement setting out precisely how much the employee will be taking, plus how this amount was chosen. If you are opting for voluntary redundancy, you should also think about adding a little more than just the basic statutory redundancy package to thank employees for choosing to leave you of their own volition.

Find a Qualified Employment Solicitor

A solicitor who is qualified in employment law will be able to ensure that your redundancies process is fully legal and above board. They may also be able to make some recommendations as to the suitable severance packages you could offer employees.

Do you need to issue some redundancies to your employees? Contact MM Legal for help today. Our solicitors specialise in employment law and they can help you reach a redundancy agreement that suits all parties.