What to do if redundancies are a possibility

As managers and business owners we never want to find ourselves in a position where we have to place staff at risk of redundancy, however it is clear that as a result of the global economic crisis caused by Covid-19, this may be the position businesses find themselves in over the coming months and indeed into next year.

Going through a redundancy process is stressful for all involved and comes with some employment risks and therefore it is important that businesses take advice on the process and also consider how they can support staff through this difficult time.

Staff under notice of redundancy

One way to support staff is by helping them find alternative employment or allowing them to attend training which may help them find alternative employment.

You must allow staff a reasonable amount of paid time off to look for another job or to do training if:

  • you’re making them redundant
  • they’ve worked for 2 full years (including the notice period)

 

You do not have to pay more than 40% of a week’s pay, no matter how much time off you allow.

You can also signpost employees to organisations which may be able to offer them support. Jobcentre Plus for example offers a ‘Rapid Response Service’ to help people get straight back into work and can also help employees write or update CVs.

But supporting staff doesn’t just stop with those who are under notice of redundancy. We also need to consider others within the business.

 

Managers who deliver the news and lead the consultation

Throughout the redundancy process employees within the business will have questions and therefore it is important that the manager or supervisor leading the redundancy process:

  • understands the detail of the organisation’s plans
  • knows why redundancies are being made
  • is trained or understands the redundancy process
  • has the capacity to carry out of the required meetings

The manager’s handling of a redundancy process can act to reassure staff that the redundancy is being dealt with fairly and that all reasonable alternatives to redundancy are being considered.

 

Staff that are remaining within the business

The impact on employees within the business who have watched friends and colleagues go through a redundancy process or who have been part of the selection process for redundancy can often be overlooked. Employees can be left feeling insecure about their role and wondering if they are likely to be affected in the future.

You can help with this process by ensuring that all employees understand the business reason for considering redundancies and know who they can speak to if they have any questions or ideas on how the business can avoid redundancies.

Like any change process which takes place within a business, it can be stressful for all concerned but keeping clear accessible lines of communication open for all can alleviate some of the worries.

If you would like our advice and assistance, please contact us on either 01302 341 344 or email me – louiseturner@proaktive.co.uk

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