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Employment Law

Restructuring & Redundancy

If a particular role is no longer needed, you may need to make an employee or group of employees redundant. Our employment lawyers can help you plan for and follow the correct legal process if this happens.

It’s a difficult decision to make members of staff redundant. It’s a delicate process for everyone and it’s important that the process is fair.

Our employment solicitors are experienced in dealing with restructuring and redundancy issues and we’ll make sure your business is protected from any legal claims related to the redundancy process.

When Can Employers Make An Employee Redundant?

Before consulting with employees or dismissing for redundancy, you must be satisfied that there is a redundancy situation. You have a redundancy situation if:

  • The entire business is closing
  • One or more workplaces are closing or relocating to a new site
  • The business no longer needs as many employees to do a particular type of work.

You should also consider:

  • How many employees to make redundant and therefore whether you’ll need a collective consultation
  • Whether you need to follow any contractual redundancy procedures.

If you’re reorganising your business but a redundancy situation does not apply, you may be able to dismiss employees for another reason. Contact our employment lawyers today for more information.

What's The Process?

For a redundancy dismissal to be fair, you must be able to show that redundancy was the real reason for the dismissal, and that you acted reasonably. This includes following a consultation process and consulting with employees before making any final decisions.

Consultation with individual employees is fundamental to the fairness of any dismissal for redundancy. In order to consult properly, you must have an open mind and give your employees a chance to influence your decisions during the consultation process.

This suggests that consultation will only be meaningful if it happens at an early stage in the redundancy process. You must also give employees adequate information about the plans and a reasonable and adequate opportunity to respond.

If you’re planning to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within a 90-day period, you’ll also have to engage in collective consultation. This means consulting with a trade union or, if there’s no recognised union, elected employee representatives.

What you should discuss during the individual consultation process will depend on the specific circumstances but you should usually give the employee the chance to:

  • Comment on how employees are being selected for redundancy
  • Challenge their redundancy selection assessment and to explain any extenuating circumstances
  • Suggest ways to avoid their redundancy.
  • Consider any alternative roles you have available
  • Address any other matters or concerns that they may have.

Our redundancy lawyers have years of experience in helping employers through the consultation process. Contact us online or call us on 0808 271 2602 to set up a meeting with one of our experts.

How Can Irwin Mitchell Help?

Restructuring and redundancy situations are never easy for you or your employees. We help different types of businesses with unique issues so our team know the ins-and-outs of how to deal with change in your business.

Our team can help you in the planning stages to make sure a realistic timetable is put in place. We’ll prepare for potential problems you could face and how to manage these. We’ve dealt with issues like making employees on long-term leave redundant, dealing with uncooperative employees and giving your employees time to look for a new job.

We understand that avoiding a costly legal dispute is important to you so you can focus on running your business. That’s why we will guide and support you through the consultation process from beginning to end, making sure you understand each step. If an employee threatens to make a claim, we’ll give you practical solutions, like a settlement agreement, to protect your business.

Read our frequently asked questions on how we can help you plan for a redundancy process that is thorough and fair.

Why choose Irwin Mitchell?

We have decades of experience in helping businesses of all sizes with restructuring and redundancy. Our solicitors have the knowledge to help you through the entire redundancy process, or just with smaller things like writing letters to employees or notes for consultation meetings.

We also offer a wide range of employment related services like pensions, employee benefits, tax and immigration. Our team can be on hand to give you strategic advice on a retainer based service or as a one-off.

With offices across the UK, we can help you wherever you’re based. Contact us online or call us on 0808 271 2602 today.

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