Redundancy: What An Employer Needs To Know

 

redundancy1Downsizing your business and considering redundancies is a prospect you many employers throughout the life of a business may have to face at one time or another.

This is a grim prospect for you as a business owner but more particularly for your affected employees.

It is therefore vital that you as an employer handle this process fairly and in a manner that protects you from any potential unfair dismissal claims made by your employees.

What do I need to look at when considering redundancies?

When handling redundancies, you will be deemed to be acting fairly both morally and legally if you treat the matter with ‘RESPECT’, that is;-

R = Redundancy

You must be able to show that a genuine redundancy situation exists in your business

E = Employees

You should ensure that your employees are fully consulted about the redundancy situation.

S = Selection

You must use objective and verifiable criteria when you are considering which roles are to be made redundant

P = Procedure

You should follow the 3 step dismissal procedure:-

  1. Inform the employee in writing of the circumstances which are leading to you considering redundancies, invite them to a meeting to discuss the matter and warn them that a possible outcome is dismissal.
  2. Hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the proposed redundancies. An outcome of the meeting must be provided and your employee must be informed of their right of appeal.
  3. If your employee chooses to exercise the right of appeal, an appeal hearing must be held and a final decision provided
E = Employment

You should consider whether there are any alternative job roles that could be filled by those being made redundant in order to avoid the redundancy.

C = Calculation

You need to ensure that the correct redundancy payment is calculated

T = Termination

You must ensure that a letter is sent to the employee confirming the end of their employment

The underlying legal principle when considering redundancies is that of reasonableness – i.e. have you as an employer behaved reasonably in all of the circumstances towards your employee when handling their redundancy?

Before embarking on this process, it is important to obtain specialist advice from an employment lawyer ton how best to handle the process. This will ensure that it is handled objectively and not contaminated with emotion which could end up costing you dearly.

For more information on this area, please contact us here or via email on info@fhanna.co.uk 

 

 

Redundancy: What An Employer Needs To Know

GDaly

Gerry Daly is the Employment Law Partner in Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors with almost 40 years experience in this field.
In his guest blog for Life Law NI, he has set out some of the factors that employers need to consider when dealing with possible redundancies within their business
As many of you already know and others are unfortunately going to find out in the current economic climate, downsizing your business and considering redundancies is a prospect you may have to face.
This is a grim prospect for you as a business owner but more particularly for your affected employees.
It is therefore vital that you as an employer handle this process fairly and in a manner that protects you from any potential unfair dismissal claims made by your employees.

What do I need to look at when considering redundancies?

When handling redundancies, you will be deemed to be acting fairly both morally and legally if you treat the matter with ‘RESPECT’, that is;-

R = Redundancy

You must be able to show that a genuine redundancy situation exists in your business

E = Employees

You should ensure that your employees are fully consulted about the redundancy situation.

S = Selection

You must use objective and verifiable criteria when you are considering which roles are to be made redundant

P = Procedure

You should follow the 3 step dismissal procedure:-

  1. Inform the employee in writing of the circumstances which are leading to you considering redundancies, invite them to a meeting to discuss the matter and warn them that a possible outcome is dismissal.
  2. Hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the proposed redundancies. An outcome of the meeting must be provided and your employee must be informed of their right of appeal.
  3. If your employee chooses to exercise the right of appeal, an appeal hearing must be held and a final decision provided
E = Employment

You should consider whether there are any alternative job roles that could be filled by those being made redundant in order to avoid the redundancy.

C = Calculation

You need to ensure that the correct redundancy payment is calculated

T = Termination

You must ensure that a letter is sent to the employee confirming the end of their employment

The underlying legal principle when considering redundancies is that of reasonableness – i.e. have you as an employer behaved reasonably in all of the circumstances towards your employee when handling their redundancy?

Before embarking on this process you should ask yourself whether you need independent legal advice.
My recommendation is that you should instruct an employment lawyer to handle the process. This will ensure that it is handled objectively and not contaminated with emotion which could end up costing you dearly.

Gerry Daly

Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors

If you wish to contact Gerry for more information on this area, please contact him at gdaly@fhanna.co.uk or alternatively let us have your comments below.

 


Unfair Dismissal – Your Questions Answered

you're firedGenerally speaking, in life your main concern is likely to be both your own and your family’s health and wellbeing.  If that’s in place then our next focus tends to be our jobs.

It makes sense – most of us (unfortunately!) spend the majority of our time each week working.   Many of us are lucky enough to enjoy what we do for a living – many of us far from enjoy it! But either way, we all work to pay the bills and have money for the things we want to do in life.

Should things go wrong at work, it often causes worry and stress but, what can you do?  

Worst case scenario: You are sacked by your employer.

You may ask yourself:-

“How will I pay the bills?

”How will I get another job?” 

“How can they do this to me?”

The Jobs and Benefits Office can help with the first two questions but I can help with the third.

If you are asking yourself how they can do this to you, you are also probably thinking that the reason and how you were sacked was unfair. Unfair dismissal is by far the most common query I deal with, but that does not in itself make it straightforward problem.

I have listed some of the most common queries below should you find yourself in this position:-

Do I have the right to claim unfair dismissal?

In order to claim that you were unfairly dismissed, you must firstly have worked for at least one year with your current employer – if you haven’t you unfortunately don’t have the right to make a claim. There are exceptions to this rule (for example, if you feel you were discriminated against) however the general rule is that if you’ve been in your job less than one year, you can’t claim unfair dismissal.

Is my dismissal unfair?

Whether a dismissal is unfair depends on whether the employer had a fair reason to end your employment. If they did have a fair reason to dismiss you, it must also be considered whether the matter was dealt with fairly. If you believe that neither the dismissal nor the way it was dealt with was fair, you may have a claim against your employer.

What is a fair reason for dismissal?

An employer can fairly dismiss an employee for one of the following reasons

  • Capability – it was thought that you were not capable of doing the job
  • Conduct – you have behaved in a way that makes it reasonable for you to be dismissed
  • Redundancy – your job is no longer required
  • Some other substantial reason – for example, business re-organisation.

It is for your employer to show what the reason for the dismissal was.

In addition to showing that the dismissal was fair and reasonable, your employer would also have to show that a fair procedure had been followed.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

Yes, a claim for unfair dismissal must be brought within 3 months of the date of your dismissal. This is a short and strict time limit! You should therefore seek advice as soon as possible once you have been dismissed as otherwise a potential claim may be out of time and you would be prevented from taking a case against your former employer.

MGavinThis guest blog comes from Mary Gavin, Associate Solicitor in the Employment Law Department of Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors.  If you have any further questions about unfair dismissal or require any further advice on this area, Mary Gavin can be contacted at Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors or by email on mgavin@fhanna.co.uk

As always, we love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to leave us your comments below.