Whether you’re an employer or employee, searching for redundancy legal advice can be stressful.
The reality is it’s not a position that anybody wants to be in. There are many reasons why redundancy might occur.
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In this article, we look into redundancy legal advice.
What Is Redundancy?
Essentially, redundancy is where the needs of the employer for a work of a specific type has reduced to the point where they don’t need as many staff as they previously did.
Or it can mean the employer is closing a workplace, and the staff who work there will be asked to relocate. If they’re not able to do so, whatever that reason might be – then they could be made redundant.
The end result is that an employee, or employees, will be relieved of their duties following the redundancy process…
The key here is that any employer that finds themselves in a redundancy situation MUST go through a fair redundancy procedure before making any decisions on redundancy.
That could include:-
- applying fair selection criteria
- consulting with employees
- explaining the reasons
- exploring whether there might be alternative options
- allowing employees to appeal against their redundancy.
The reality is this can be a difficult situation for employers to manage. It’s time-consuming, involves A LOT of administration, and it’s not conducive to good morale.
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Are There Any Options Other Than Redundancy For Employers?
Many employers will explore a settlement agreement as an alternative to the redundancy process, and it’s worth considering.
One factor in a settlement agreement is that the employee waives the right to progress through a fair redundancy procedure in exchange for a settlement fee.
The positives of a settlement agreement are mutually beneficial…
- The employee gets more money
- The employer can spend more time focusing on their business
And avoiding having to go through the redundancy process where one or both parties might become agitated is beneficial.
You should know, though, that the employee DOES NOT have to accept the settlement agreement. If they refuse, the employer still has the option to press ahead with the redundancy process.
In this instance, it would be advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that the procedure has been conducted fairly or whether there might be the potential for an unfair dismissal claim.
It might be preferable for the employee to accept the settlement agreement for several reasons:
- The financial settlement is likely to be higher than they’d get through redundancy
- It allows them to finalise the process quicker and move on with their next opportunity
- It allows for the process to be conducted in a civil and agreeable manner
Can An Employee Request A Settlement Agreement?
While it’s not common, an employee can request a settlement agreement.
It’s unusual because the suggestion usually comes from the employer. But, an employee is perfectly entitled to ask their employer to engage in a protected discussion over a settlement agreement.
It might be prudent for some employees to do so if they know that restructuring is on the horizon. Especially if they know that their position might be vulnerable.
And it might be to the benefit of both the employee and the employer to consider a settlement agreement as an option, depending on their circumstances.
A Fair Redundancy Process
If an employee has worked for a business for at least 2 years, then their employee is legally required to follow a fair redundancy process.
This means you should be invited to at least 1 individual meeting with your employer to discuss redundancy, but other than this, there is no set process.
An employer MUST have a clear process, but there is no specific way in which it has to be done.
In the individual meeting, your employer should make clear to you why:
- They need to make redundancies
- They’re considering you for redundancy
- If there are any other jobs available and details on them
It’s also an opportunity for an employee to ask questions about what happens next, voice any concerns, and tell them if you think the process has been unfair.
If an employee has worked for less than 2 years, your employer doesn’t need a redundancy process and doesn’t have to meet you individually. However, it’s still worth following up to see if they have a redundancy process so that you know what to expect.
A redundancy process MUST explain:
- How they’ll select people for redundancy
- How long the process will take
- What meetings you’ll be able to attend and when
- How you can appeal the decision if you’re selected for redundancy
Redundancy Advice Near Me
Whatever your needs, there’s a solicitor near you that help you with redundancy legal advice…