Harrogate Redundancy Solicitors Advising on Redundancy situations
If you are making redundancies or may need in the near future, you need to ensure that you do it legally. Our redundancy solicitors in Harrogate can help ensure you adhere to all legal requirements.
What is redundancy?
Someone is regarded as redundant where dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to one of the following reasons:
The business moves location
If your business moves from the place where you employed people and, the distance between the old and new premises is an inconvenience to your staff who are asked to decide whether the move is plausible for them to continue to work for you.
Business ceases operations
This is where your business has ceased, or intends to cease. This also applies to parts of the business where someone is employed is closed, but the rest of the business continues.
If a business is reorganised or new labour-saving devices, such as machinery, can lead to fewer workers or different skills being needed. Where fewer employees are needed for existing work or there is less work for existing employees, an Employment Tribunal may be needed.
What does not constitute redundancy?
Someone being released would not be regarded as redundant where their dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to:
Transferring night workers into day workers
Changes to work shifts to promote efficient working
Reduction of overtime
The correct redundancy procedure
As an employer, you must follow the correct redundancy procedure or risk an Employment Tribunal ruling that a genuine redundancy is an unfair dismissal. Businesses will often use our Leeds redundancy solicitors to ensure they are following a fair and legal process.
1. Advanced warning
You should give sufficient warning of any potenitally impending redundancies and inform the relevant workforce that it may affect them. Any staff members that are currently absent, for whatever reason (including maternity and disability), you must also contact these employees.
2. Fair selection
In most cases, you should identify a selection of employees from which to select who will be made redundant. If there is only one employee who will be potentially affected, there is no need for a selection pool.
Selection pools can be challenged by staff if they do not feel that the pool is wide enough or some people that have been chosen are not relevant.
3. Redundancy selection criteria
Once the pool has been agreed upon, you need to determine how employees will be selected for redundancy. A list of criteria should be drawn up to reflect your employer’s business priorities in order to retain the best employees.
Criteria must not be discriminatory and must stand up to objective assessment or measurement. Care is needed to avoid indirect discrimination.
Criteria must also make sense from a business perspective.
The last in-first out method has previously been a popular sole selection criterion. While this method is both simple, and on the face of it fair, it may not produce the desired result for your selection.
A dismissal is automatically unfair where you are selected for an inadmissible reason, for example, because the staff member is pregnant.
Some businesses looking to use a point-scoring system when staff can earn more points based on:
Skills needed to take the business forward
Sickness record (discounting any absence for disability or pregnancy related reasons)
Length of service
You are required to ensure proper and meaningful consultation with employees selected for potential redundancy takes place. This chat should have the aim to find ways of avoiding dismissal (if at all possible). Options to avoid redundancy might include:
a reduction in hours.
5. Alternative employment
Genuine efforts to find suitable alternative employment in the business or any associated company must be made. If available, this should be offered to you during the consultation process.
Only after the consultation process is complete – 30 days if more than 20 employees are being made redundant – should notice be given to those chosen for redundancy.
You will need to inform your staff of any decision and notify them of their right to appeal. Failure to do this might make the dismissal unfair on procedural grounds.
Qualification for a redundancy payment
If you dismiss a member of staff by reason of redundancy and they have been continuously employed for two years or more with your business, they are legally entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.
The amount of redundancy pay received is based on weekly gross pay, age and length of service (although it is subject to a cap of £450 a week and 20 years’ service). This is the legal basis, however, some employers provide an enhanced redundancy payment contractually or on a discretionary basis.
Next steps and how Powell Eddison HR employment lawyers can help
The best time to ensure you are legally compliant is before any issues arise for your business. Failure to comply with the legal requirements of redundancies can lead to employment tribunal applications and other potential legal proceedings.
With this in mind, our specialist redundancy lawyers in Harrogate can advise on a full spectrum of contract generation and review matters and have significant experience in handling all types of contractual issues.
For specialist redundancy solicitor advice, contact our Harrogate redundancy solicitors in our today for a specialist, no-obligation FREE phone consultation. Contact our Harrogate HR employment lawyers today on 01423 564551 or fill the below form in.