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Understanding Redundancy

Redundancies can be stressful for everyone involved and should be only considered as a last resort.

Employers can handle the situation in a constructive way, by following a transparent process and being fair and consistent, which promotes good employee relations and minimises operational disruption, whilst also reducing the risk of tribunal with unfair dismissal claims, by complying with the law.

For Redundancies to be genuine and legal, the role being made redundant must no longer exist. In certain cases, this could be because there is less work available, the work has disappeared through the gain of new software or technology, or if fewer employees are required for the quantity of work.

There are legal requirements to be met, and employers need to consider when making redundancies whether there are legitimate reasons why the employee should be made redundant. Employees are entitled to redundancy pay if they have worked consistently for the same employer for at least two years.

If an employer is making a role redundant, they are required to seek alternative employment within the company, for the employee, if available. There are alternatives to redundancy and employers should consider all options, for example, considering flexible working, offering early retirement or voluntary redundancy, reducing overtime, or retraining and redeploying to other areas to utilise skills the employee has. Other options may include the introduction of temporary layoffs or short time working, which needs to be agreed through a variation in terms and conditions and be part of a contract of employment.

Do you have a Redundancy Policy? Or are you thinking about making an employee redundant? Call us on 01935 411191 for a free initial consultation, or email One of our trained HR Consultants will be able to answer your queries and recommend solutions.


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