Unfortunately, with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme coming to an end, many businesses will be faced with making large-scale redundancies as they realise that they are unable to keep many employees on their payroll.
However, there are many options companies should consider before making the decision to make employees redundant. These include:
- Salary reductions/freezes
- Lower recruitment levels
- Changes to contracts, such as terms and conditions of employment
- Voluntary early retirement or voluntary redundancy
- Reducing overtime
- Redeploying certain employees to other areas of the organisation
If you’ve explored all of the above options but have concluded that redundancies are the only option, then there are key things you will have to consider to ensure you remain fully-compliant throughout the entire process.
Firstly, you will need to show that you have tried all that you can to avoid redundancies. If you proceed to making an employee redundant without using available state support, such as the CJRS, then you need to be able to say exactly why redundancy was the correct decision if the employee takes the matter to a tribunal.
If your business believes that they will recover quickly post-lockdown, then you should carefully consider placing employees on the furlough scheme.
However, even if you have placed employees on furlough, you can begin redundancy procedures.
Despite the extraordinary circumstances, your company will still need to follow standard redundancy processes. If your organisation has a specified redundancy process, this must still be followed, but certain conditions must be met: these include demonstrating that suitable alternatives to redundancy have been explored, individual consultation has been performed, evidence of selection pools is available, as well as offering affected employees sufficient support, such as counselling and mental health services. In addition, standard redundancy payments must be made.
Even though coronavirus has made face-to-face communication nearly impossible for many, this is no excuse not to properly consult employees. There are many ways that effective communication can still be achieved.
For collective consultation, you need to ensure representatives are fully informed about staffing requirements, and there should be communication with the group of employees and/or reps who will be involved with a possible lay-off event, explaining the reasons for the redundancies and why they were placed in the redundancy pool.
For individual consultations, at-risk employees should be informed of the proposed redundancy at the earliest opportunity. Each worker should be given two meetings with their manager and/or HR specialist, where you must outline the selection criteria, any opportunity for redeployment, individual concerns, and so on. At these meetings, the employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague. After the worker has been given enough information about the situation, they must be given sufficient time to consider their options and prepare a response.
It’s vital to follow the above procedures. If you don’t, and you carry out the process wrongly, there is every chance of being taken to a costly employment tribunal, as well as having other ramifications within your business, such as employee morale dipping.
Youmanage gives you a deep pool of useful communication features to help you communicate effectively, such as fully-configurable letter and email templates that are part of integrated workflow processes, allowing you to tailor them to your needs. Also, every piece of documentation can be stored securely in our cloud platform against individual employee records, ensuring nothing goes missing and everything is recorded in a compliant way.
In addition, employees that have been made redundant can be marked accordingly in your system, ensuring that holiday entitlement is pro-rated accurately and automatically, saving your company precious time and enhancing productivity.
If you’d like to find out more about how Youmanage can help with redundancy situations, then please get in touch with our team. Or if you would like to book a free demo, then you can do so right here.