By Kelly Feehan, Service Director at CABA, the wellbeing charity
The economic fallout from covid-19 has hit the UK hard, and the country, along with much of the rest of the world, is now thought to be entering its worst recession in 300 years. This will have a huge impact on businesses and organisations across every sector, and redundancies are likely to become more frequent.
We’ve already seen a huge number of people lose their jobs, particularly in retail and aviation – 2 of the sectors worst affected by the virus. With the furlough scheme expected to end in October, the full extent of the impact on the UK workforce is yet to be seen.
Managing redundancies is not an easy process and is stressful for everyone involved. This is made worse by the current circumstances which often mean that discussions need to take place via telephone or video call. Unfortunately, in some cases it will be unavoidable.
If your business is having to make some of its employees redundant, there are several legalities you need to observe. Failure to do so could give rise to claims for unfair dismissal.
The redundancy process should generally include:
- Identifying a reasonable ‘pool for selection’, i.e. the group of employees from which the employees selected for redundancy will be chosen
- Adopting objective and non-discriminatory selection criteria where the pool involves two or more employees, and applying them fairly to those within this pool
- Warning and consulting employees about the potential redundancy situation via a meaningful two-way conversation
- Seeking a view from the union (if there is one)
- Informing and consulting employee representatives in cases of collective redundancy
- Considering alternative employment or training for future employment for those employees whose roles are redundant
- Giving reasonable paid time off to look for work
- Calculation of redundancy pay
- Accrued but untaken holiday pay
- Right to appeal any decision to dismiss
Further information on the legalities around the redundancy process, including consultation, re-employment and calculating pay, can be found on CABA’s website. For employees facing, there is also helpful advice available on coping with redundancy and getting back on track.