Redundancy is a form of dismissal. The individual not only loses their job but the job itself also ceases. A rigorous procedure has to be followed for the dismissal to be legally considered fair.
Can redundancy be an unfair dismissal?
Yes, redundancy can be an unfair dismissal. If the real reason for dismissal was not a true redundancy situation, an individual could make a claim of unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal.
What is a true redundancy situation?
Redundancy occurs where there is a need to reduce the workforce or a position is no longer required. Redundancy is when:
- The requirements for employees to undertake work of a particular kind, or to conduct it at the location in which they are employed, has ceased or diminished, or are expected do so.
- The above includes where a business is closing completely or partially.
Are there any alternatives that can help to avoid redundancies?
Redundancy dismissal is one approach but not the only solution to your situation as an employer. Other options include:
- Asking your employees to work reduced hours/pay — the employee will need to agree to this. This will need a variation to their contract and could either be a fixed –term or permanent change.
- Placing employees on furlough during the coronavirus pandemic (subject to prevailing scheme rules).
- Recruitment freezes, but be careful it doesn’t increase workload for existing staff.
- Redeploying employees whose role is redundant to a suitable alternative role. This could be on a trial basis. The employee will need to agree to this.
What should I do next?
If you need advice on a possible redundancy situation, please contact Kirsty Henderson one of our HR Advisors.
First Published 20 January 2021
Last Updated 20 January 2021
20 January 2021
Find out more about Kirsty Henderson