Redundancy Handling: Top 10 tips

Redundancies can be one of the most technically and emotionally demanding people-management processes.  They can become necessary for various reasons – changes in technology; a restructure; adverse financial pressures.

At organic hr we have in-depth expertise in the sensitive and efficient handling of redundancy situations.  For a more detailed insight into our approach please visit the Business Reorganisation page on our website by clicking here.

Here are some quick thoughts though, 10 things to do or avoid, for managers involved in redundancy handling:

1. Do keep an open mind.  Look for viable alternatives to compulsory redundancies.  Make sure you fully consider any ideas put forward by employees.

2. Don’t be tempted to deal with redundancies informally.  Redundancy situations bring significant risks for employees and employers.  No matter how good relationships are between you and your team, redundancies simply can’t be handled effectively (and legally) without the proper structures and processes in place.

3. Don’t forget about future planning.  It is critical that any redundancy process leaves a balanced organisation when it’s completed.  This doesn’t happen without planning.

4. Do your maths.  Make sure you that you have calculated the costs of any potential redundancy.  Make sure you can provide employees with an accurate breakdown of what they may be entitled to.

5. Do apply fair and objective selection criteria.  This becomes especially relevant when you are selecting from a ‘pool’ of employees (a group of employees who have similar skill sets and/or perform similar roles).  Agreeing these with employees and/or their representatives in advance is advisable.

6. Don’t discriminate unlawfully.  Age, disability, marital status, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation have no place in selecting for redundancy.  For example ‘last in, first out’ would usually be indirect age discrimination.

7. Don’t forget your duties to inform and consult.  Within redundancy situations there is a statutory duty to consult.  The format of this depends upon the number of employees potentially affected.  This ranges from individual consultation over a relatively short time frame through to formal collective consultation over at least 90 days.

8. Do try to help affected employees find other work.  This could be within your company, your group, your customers, your suppliers or it could be through providing outplacement help and/or CV clinics.

9. Don’t neglect ‘survivors’.  ‘Survivor syndrome’ is very real.  Even employees from teams that have not been directly affected can still be negatively impacted.  Make time and resources available to support them.

10. Do ask for help.  Consider whether you need advice from ACAS, help from a colleague – such as internal HR or a manager from another department, or whether in order to guarantee an objective and effective process you need hands on help from the outside.

Any questions?  Could do with a little more information?  We’ll be happy to help.  Get in touch.

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