Important things to know for redundancy-consultation periods
If you’re making more than 20 people redundant within a 90-day period, then you have a statutory duty to hold collective consultations with your staff.
Even though there currently aren't any set rules for teams below 20, it's wise to hold consultations and understand your people.
Speak to your people. Communicating during the redundancy-consultation period is important because:
1. Everyone deserves to know where they stand.
2. If things do turn sour, you could risk appearing unfair in front of an employment tribunal. For example, if a claimant can prove you failed to consult them during a period before their redundancy, you're then at risk for hefty tribunal fine.
It's typical best-practise to hold a collective consultation followed by individual meetings with affected staff.
If a company needs to make 20 to 99 employees redundant, the employer must allow for a minimum 30-day consultation period.
For 100+ redundancies
For 100 redundancies or more, this jumps to 45 days prior to dismissal.
For less than 20 redundancies
If you’re a small business looking to make less than 20 people redundant, there's no minimum time for a consultation. However, the law says it must be considered “meaningful” or the redundancy could be considered unfair.
Even if you’re considering dismissing less than 20 employees and have no statutory duty to hold a consultation, it’s still best to do it anyway. It's a way to have open conversations with your employees and their representatives.
In any redundancy consultation, you'll need to:
Inform staff why they are being made redundant and look at any alternatives to redundancy such as restructuring, retraining or offering revised conditions if that is appropriate.
Allow employees to express their views and feel heard. Uncertainty and fear are normal with any type of change and it's important to show sensitivity towards others feelings and circumstances.
Make sure you consult with each individual who faces redundancy, regardless of how many people you need to let go,
What you need to communicate to your people
If you're making redundancies, you'll need to explain - in writing:
the reasons for the redundancies;
the numbers involved;
the departments and areas of the business affected;