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Redundancy

Redundancy Solicitors

As your trusted employment law advisor, our solicitors have many years of experience and expertise in redundancy law. No matter how complex or contentious your redundancy matter, Wilford Smith Solicitors will provide clear, strategic guidance and representation to control and limit the risk of an ex-employee bringing a redundancy-related unfair dismissal claim. If you are facing an Employment Tribunal claim, we will protect your legal position and reputation while providing the most robust defence available.

As a full-service law firm, we will work as a seamless extension of your in-house legal and HR teams, providing extensive legal expertise, support, and guidance. We will limit your risk exposure and manage your redundancy matters quickly, cost-effectively, and as amicably as possible.

Contact us on 0808 164 1349 or complete our online enquiry form to find out how we can help with your redundancy matter.

Redundancy proceedings are challenging for everyone involved. Your employees have extensive rights concerning redundancy. It is easy for employers to make mistakes when navigating the statutory redundancy process, leaving themselves at risk of unfair dismissal claims. Our specialist employment law solicitors provide expert guidance and support on redundancy procedures to ensure that you take all appropriate steps and that your position is protected.

What is redundancy?

While a myriad of scenarios exist whereby an employer wishes to terminate an employee’s contract, only particular types of situations can be considered ‘redundancy’. Examples of genuine redundancy situations are when:

• The workplace is shutting down.
• Fewer employees are needed – or are expected to be needed – for a particular type of work to be carried out.
• The employee’s job no longer exists.
• The work for which the worker was employed is no longer being carried out by the company.
• The company’s business has declined.
• The employer’s business, or the role being performed by a particular employee, has moved to a different location.

Are employers required to consult with staff before making redundancies?

Yes, you have a duty to consult with all staff who may be affected by redundancies. Consultation should last for a ‘reasonable’ period, which will be dependent on the particular circumstances. In most cases, this is expected to be at least one week. Employers are expected to use this period to explore alternatives to redundancy.

If you are planning to make 20 or more redundancies, you have a statutory duty to notify the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). This must be done 45 days before the first redundancy in situations where more than 100 staff are being made redundant or 30 days for 100 employees or less.

How are employers expected to select staff for redundancy?

You must use a set of objective criteria to establish which employees will be made redundant. There is no set rule as to what these objective criteria should be, but you must be able to demonstrate the approach you have taken. An example might be using a simple ‘last in, first out' method.

Selection criteria commonly used by employers include:

• Skills and experience
• Standard of performance
• Attendance record
• Disciplinary record
• Aptitude for work

It is against the law for an employer to rely on redundancy criteria that discriminate against particular employees based on sex, disability, race, religion, or sexuality. It is also unlawful to have selection criteria based on employees working part-time or being pregnant.

Can employees appeal against their redundancy?

Yes, you must allow employees to appeal if they wish to do so. Failure to do so may result in a claim for unfair dismissal.

Are employees legally entitled to redundancy pay?

Yes, any employee who has two or more years of service is entitled to statutory redundancy pay. Furthermore, contractual redundancy pay may also be owed depending on what is expressed or implied in the employment contract.

What is the correct redundancy procedure?

The following should happen when a redundancy procedure is carried out correctly:

• There must be a redundancy situation.
• Employees who will be affected by the redundancy must be identified.
• The employer must determine which manager or managers will be responsible for selecting employees for redundancy – they should be familiar with the work, qualifications and skills of those employees who may potentially face redundancy.
• The employer must draw up a transparent and objective selection criterion to identify employees who may be made redundant, along with a pool of affected employees carrying out relevant work.
• Employees should be invited to an individual meeting to discuss whether they have been provisionally selected for redundancy. They should be given appropriate time to reflect on their provisional selection and enter into a period of consultation.
• The employer should consider whether a suitable alternative role exists for the employee at risk of redundancy.
• If redundancy is confirmed, the employee should be informed about their redundancy pay and any other termination arrangements. You may wish to ask them to sign a settlement agreement.

Why Wilford Smith Solicitors?

Wilford Smith was founded over 30 years ago and is now considered one of the UK’s most prestigious law firms. We have developed a richly deserved reputation for excellence in our core areas of law, including employment and HR. We are more than just a law firm; we are your trusted legal advisor and will be there at every step of your commercial journey. You are never alone. The advice, support, and representation we provide to your business will be tailored to your needs and specific to your industry sector. You can be assured that with our team handling your whistleblowing matter, exceptional outcomes are the norm.

Our employment law teams are based in Sheffield and advise and represent clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 0808 168 5813 to find out how we can help with your redundancy matter.

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2022 Wilford Smith is the trading name of WS Strategic Ltd. a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 07777022. Registered office – Meadowhall Business Park, Sheffield S9 2EQ. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 640898.