Redundancy After Furlough: Critical Contemplation For Employers |

Many UK businesses face the reality of redundancies following the finish of the vacation conspire in October. The government initiative, which was in place to protect jobs during the pandemic, is ending, and employers must make tough decisions about their work forces. While some businesses have been able to weather the storm and keep all their staff employed, others have had to face up to the fact that they cannot sustain their current staffing level. If you’re an employer considering making redundancies, there are a couple of key things you need to bear in mind. This blog post will explore the key considerations for employers making redundancies after furlough. From consultation with employees to financial support from the government, we will cover everything you need to know about this challenging process.

What is redundancy?

When an employer is considering making redundancies, there are some key things they need to consider. The following is a non-exhaustive list of key considerations for employers:


1) Does the employer have a genuine redundancy situation? Furlough means that the boss prioritizes a valid justification for redundancies, such as a decrease in work or changes to the type of work required.


2) Have all other avenues been explored? Furlough includes looking at ways to reduce hours or pay, changing working patterns, or offering voluntary redundancy.


3) Is the selection process fair? Finally, employers must consider whom they will select for redundancy and whether this is done fairly. This includes ensuring that employees are not selected purely based on age, gender, race, etc.


4) What consultation will be carried out? Employers need to consult with employees before making any decisions about redundancies. This allows employees to raise any concerns and suggest ways to avoid or minimize redundancies.


5) How will notice periods be managed? Employees are entitled to a statutory minimum notice period when they are made redundant. However, employers can offer more generous notice periods if they wish.


6) What financial support is available? Workers who are made excess might be qualified for certain payments, such as statutory redundancy pay or compensation for unfair dismissal.

What are the critical considerations for employers when made redundant?

There are several critical considerations for employers to take into account when making redundancies, including:


– The business case for redundancy. This should include a detailed analysis of the financial and operational impact of the proposed redundancies.


– The consultation process with employees. This should involve full and open communication with employees about the reasons for the proposed redundancies and allow them to raise any concerns or questions they may have.


– The selection criteria for redundancy. This should be fair, objective, and transparent and must not discriminate against any protected characteristics under equality legislation.


– The timing of the redundancies. Careful consideration should be given to when the redundancies will take effect to minimize disruption to the business and avoid any negative impact on morale.


– The support available to employees who are made redundant. This includes ensuring that they receive their statutory entitlements, such as notice pay and redundancy pay, and signposting them towards any other support sources, such as job search advice and training opportunities.

How to approach redundancy in a sensitive way

When approaching redundancy, it is crucial to be as sensitive as possible to the employees who may be affected. Here are some critical considerations for employers:


  1. Make sure you have a valid reason for making redundancies – Redundancies should only be made for genuine business reasons, such as a reduction in work due to Covid-19.


  1. Consider alternatives to redundancy – If there are other ways to reduce costs without making redundancies, these should be explored first. For example, you could offer employees reduced hours or pay instead.


  1. Communicate early and often – Employees should be kept up-to-date with any changes that may affect them, including the possibility of redundancy. This will help avoid surprises and allow employees to prepare mentally and financially for the worst-case scenario.


  1. Follow a fair selection process – If you need to make redundancies, these should be carried out fairly. Employees should be selected based on objective criteria, such as their skillset or role within the company.


  1. Support your employees – This is a difficult time for everyone involved, so it’s vital to offer support to your employees throughout the process. This could include financial advice, counseling, or simply being available to answer any questions they may have.

What are the options for employees who have been made redundant?

There are a few options for employees who have been made redundant. The first is to file for unemployment benefits. This will allow them to receive a weekly check to help cover living expenses while they search for a new job. Another option is to take some time off and collect severance pay if their employer offers. This can give them a financial cushion while they take the time to find a new job that is the right fit for them. Finally, they may decide to start their own business or freelance. This can be an excellent option for entrepreneurial people who want the freedom to work on their own terms.

What process should be followed when making furloughed staff redundant?

When making furloughed staff redundant, employers should consider the following key points:


  1. The process for making redundancies should be fair and transparent.


  1. Employees should be given enough time to consider their options and seek advice.


  1. Care should be taken to avoid unfairly discriminating against any employees.


  1. The impact of the redundancies on those remaining employed should be considered.


  1. Where possible, every effort should be made to redeploy employees rather than make them redundant.

What payments are furloughed employees entitled to receive if they are made redundant?

If an employee is made redundant after being placed on furlough, they are entitled to receive the same redundancy pay as any other employee. This includes any notice period that would be applicable, as well as any accrued holiday pay. In addition, if the worker has been with the organization for more than two years, they may also be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.

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