SMALL BUSINESS REDUNDANCIES

If redundancies are necessary (and this is assuming it is a smaller scale redundancy exercise that will apply to less than 20 employees in any establishment/site within a rolling period of 90 days), employers will need to ensure that they follow a fair process. This will depend on the scale of the business and the roles at risk of redundancy. 

3 Steps to Demonstrate a Fair Redundancy Process 

  • Employees to be placed at risk of redundancy must be fairly selected (ideally using objective criteria)
  • They must be warned of the redundancy and the reasons for it must be explained
  • Employees must be allowed the opportunity to consider and comment on the employer’s proposals, such as their selection, as well as suggesting alternative roles that may be available, during a consultation process

There is no set statutory procedure for a small-scale redundancy, but typically a redundancy process will consist of:

  • Three meetings with each individual at risk of redundancy; these meetings should take place over a period of seven to ten days
  • The first meeting is generally used to place the individual at risk of redundancy, explain the reasons for this and to advise them of the consultation process
  • At the second meeting the employee should be allowed to provide any suggested alternatives to redundancy for consideration and the employer should consider suitable alternative roles that might be available
  • If by the third and final meeting there is no suitable alternative role and the decision is that the employee’s role is redundant, this should be confirmed in writing; and employees should be advised that they can appeal against the decision (in which case an appeal meeting should take place)

For more information on managing redundancies, visit the ACAS website. 

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is an independent public body that provides free and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives on employment rights.