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All businesses need to keep on top of their staffing and to ensure that they have not only the right people but that those people are in the right place. An unfortunate and inevitable result of business life is that reviews of staff do sometimes result in people being made redundant.

When there are fewer than 20 potential redundancies (see our quick guide to collective redundancies if there are 20 or more potential redundancies) there is no prescribed timetable that must be followed. Instead there are certain key steps that must be undertaken within a time frame appropriate to the circumstances:

Step 1: Before notifying the employee of anything you should identify:

  • The structure of your team
  • Why it is no longer working
  • How you might want the team to look including multiple options if appropriate
  • Why that will improve the issues identified at point 2
  • Which employees are affected by this and who does similar work (all employees doing the same or similar work should be considered for the ‘pool’ of at risk employees).

By carrying out this exercise you can ensure that you do not unduly upset staff that do not need to be placed at risk of redundancy and can identify any other options available to you.

Step 2: Notify the affected employees that they are at risk of redundancy at a meeting and confirm this fact in writing. Agree to meet with them again in a few days' time to discuss your proposals further

Step 3: Hold a period of consultation with the affected employees with a view to avoiding compulsory redundancies if at all possible. This may involve changing your plans identified at Step 1 if more sensible/practical options are identified. This may involve a series of meeting and discussions.

Step 4: If no options are identified at Step 3 and there is more than one employee at risk of redundancy you should identify an objective selection criteria and try and agree this with the at risk employees.

Step 5: Once the selection criteria has been determined whoever scores least well should be invited to a final consultation meeting at which they may be dismissed if no alternatives are available

Step 6: Give redundant employees the right to appeal.

During this process the employee should remain at work unless there are extraordinary reasons why not.

If you are looking to restructure your business or your team please contact our Employment Law Team on 01279 755777 or get in touch with Gary Smith, Partner in our Employment Team.

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