A number of recent press releases are suggesting that we may see a further increase in the number of redundancies in 2012. A quick search for the word on Google news throws up thousands of results, at the time of writing headlines include:
£10.7m bill for 756 council job losses
350 TV Licensing workers in danger of redundancy
Ulster Bank to shed 950 jobs
Almost 900 BAE workers face redundancy
So, what should you expect if your employer becomes one of the many who are likely to make redundancies this year?
Employers should follow a redundancy procedure and, while the specific detail may differ, the overall procedure should be largely the same. Your employer should first notify staff that redundancies may have to be made and the reasons for it.
They should then identify and notify a ‘pool’ of at risk employees. Generally the pool would be a specific department or role at which point you should be notified that your position may be at risk of being made redundant. At this stage no decision about individuals should have been made. Using objective selection criteria the employer should then select the individuals who are to be made redundant. This is often done by scoring each employee on the basis of their service and performance as well as other objective criteria. The employer should then consult with you in order to try to establish a means by which redundancy can be avoided. You should make suggestions and consider any proposals. Common solutions involve reduced hours, changes to working practice and a reduction in pay.
If the consultation is not fruitful then your employer may notify you that your position is redundant and give you a date for the termination of your employment. In this case they should consider whether they have any other suitable positions which they could offer you, failing which you will be entitled to statutory redundancy. If an employer fails to follow a fair procedure then the employee may be entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. To avoid this employers will often invite volunteers for redundancy and entice them by offering a greater redundancy payment than they would otherwise be entitled to.
- Increase in Redundancy Entitlement and Unfair Dismissal Compensation (gustavpatrick.co.uk)