Guidance for Employers
6 Invaluable Tips for Managing a Redundancy Process
Redundancy is an difficult process to navigate for any business and is the last resort, particularly given how complex it can be. If you’re considering redundancies, or you’ve already started the process, here’s 6 tips to help you manage your redundancy process effectively.
6 Invaluable Tips for Managing a Redundancy Process
8 September, 2020
by Lianne Lambert
Redundancy is an difficult process to navigate for any business.
Redundancy is a last resort for a business, particularly given how complex it can be, and the average redundancy rate over the last 5 years has been just 3.8 redundancies per 1000 employees.
However in 2020, as a result of the impact of Covid-19, redundancy situations are occurring in many business with some sectors being hit particularly hard. Many owners and managers are having to navigate the redundancy process for the first time.
If you’re considering redundancies, or you’ve already started the process, here’s 6 tips to help you manage your redundancy process effectively. Whilst these are tips, we really don’t suggest trying to navigate a redundancy situation without some expert help. There are a lot of different factors that you need to consider and speaking with someone who has experience in managing redundancy situations is highly recommended.
Our top redundancy tips for managers are:
We strongly advise you get in-touch with us on 0203 319 1649 to get expert, tailored guidance before you take any actions.
1. Take Your Time
The first and most important part of the entire redundancy process is the planning.
Rushing through this stage can make life very challenging further down the line and can often lead to difficult conversations and unpleasant surprises.
Taking the time to understand the intricacies of your employees’ roles, and their day to day tasks, not only makes pooling decisions much easier, but can often help you to understand whether there might be an alternative to redundancy.
It’s all-too-common for us to see people rushing into the redundancy process in order to get it over and done with as quickly as possible, only to realise that some more time spent planning things up front would have made the whole process run much more smoothly.
2. Document Everything
When it comes to keeping track of your redundancy process, there is a golden rule that needs to be followed: document everything and document it in detail!
Those in HR often get labelled as pessimists for constantly thinking about the worst-case scenario, but we like to prepare for the worst and hope for the best!
And the worst, in this situation, is an employment tribunal.
In the unfortunate event that your redundancy process ends up in an employment tribunal, notes and records that were made during the process will carry much more weight than the testimonies and statements of witnesses who were part of the process.
The hearings for these cases can often take up to two years to take place, and remembering the actions you took that long ago can often be difficult, so detailed records can help to establish what really happened, will help to show what you did and why, and are also likely to hold much more weight with the Judge at the hearing.
3. Keep Your Cool
There are times when redundancy processes can be very challenging and extremely frustrating.
It’s not uncommon for employees to begin bringing up a number of issues that they’ve never previously mentioned, and there are times when you’ll find yourself having to deal with a grievance raised by an employee as a counter to your redundancy proposal.
People at risk of redundancy may also begin to suggest impractical or unrealistic changes to their roles in an effort to avoid redundancy, or may even offer well-intentioned advice on how the company could avoid redundancies altogether.
Managing the redundancy process on top of all of your regular day-to-day tasks can be a lot to handle, and it’s all too easy to get frustrated with the process and begin cutting corners in an effort to try and speed things up.
Unfortunately, this is often when mistakes happen, so it’s important to try to keep your cool and remember that taking a few extra hours now will save you many more in the future if it helps you to avoid an employment tribunal!
4. Trust The Process
When you’re in the thick of it, the redundancy process can feel like an overly complicated and convoluted process.
Don’t worry though, you’re not alone, we sometimes feel like that too!
It’s worth remembering, however, that the process is there to help you.
Aside from the fact that you’re legally obligated to follow the redundancy process, going through each step without any predetermined outcome will significantly reduce your risk of facing an employment tribunal.
In the unfortunate event that you do find yourself at an employment tribunal, following the process thoroughly will help to increase your chances of winning, so it’s worth taking the extra time to ensure that you follow every step correctly.
5. Only Use the Redundancy Process for Redundancies
This one should really go without saying, but only use the redundancy process when it’s really a redundancy!
Over the years we’ve seen a number of instances where companies were going through the redundancy process in order to get rid of one or two troublesome employees.
The redundancy process works best, and is far easier to navigate, when employers are open and honest with themselves and their employees, and using the redundancy process to try and manage a situation that isn’t a redundancy makes that very difficult.
If what you’re really dealing with is an underperforming or troublesome employee then it’s important to ensure that you’re managing them effectively – and we can help you manage employee performance.
6. Get Help from a Professional
If you’re planning on taking on the redundancy process yourself because your company doesn’t have an HR team please seek professional guidance throughout the process.
There are many technicalities and potential pitfalls throughout the redundancy process, so it’s important to get help from an expert who can help you to avoid them.
If you’re considering making redundancies, book a free consultation with the form below and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss how your business can move forward.