Redundancy Advice for Employers
Contemplating redundancies is never easy, but when redundancy situation arises , it is essential to follow the correct process.
Failing to carry out a fair redundancy process could potentially result in employees who have been made redundant bringing claims such as unfair dismissal and discrimination. Not only can this cost your business time and money to deal with, it can also have a very negative impact on your reputation at an already challenging time.
At JCP Solicitors, our Employment Law team is highly experienced in guiding a wide range of businesses and organisations through making employees redundant. We are ranked for Employment Law in Wales by the respected client guide The Legal 500, reflecting our expertise across the full range of employment law issues, including redundancy.
Our specialist redundancy solicitors can ensure you understand your legal obligations and the steps you need to go through when making redundancies, then support you through every stage of redundancy proceedings (the process). That way, you can be confident you are treating your employees fairly and protecting your business.
We can provide clear, pragmatic redundancy advice for issues including:
- The fair selection of employees for redundancy
- Which employees are entitled to statutory redundancy pay
- Giving employees appropriate advance warning of the risk of redundancy
- The redundancy consultation process you must go through with employees
- The requirement to offer employees alternative employment where possible
- The use of settlement agreements during redundancy
- Collective redundancies
- TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006)
- Dealing with unfair dismissal and other claims arising from redundancy
We can also provide independent advice for employees on settlement agreements, including as part of mass settlement proceedings. This is a requirement for the settlement agreement to be legal, so is normally funded by the employer.
- Catherine Almeida
- Senior Associate Solicitor - Employment & HR
- Maia Liddle
- Undergraduate Legal Assistant - Employment & HR
How we help your business with making employees redundant
Carrying out a fair redundancy process
When making redundancies, it is essential to treat your employees fairly. Not only is this the right thing to do for your team, but it also protects your business against the risk of claims for unfair dismissal.
Our employment lawyers can set out what is needed for a fair redundancy process and support you as much as you require through that process.
We can assist with individual parts of redundancy proceedings, such as drafting ‘advanced warning’ letters notifying employees of the risk of redundancy and creating settlement agreements. Our team can also handle the entire redundancy process for you where required.
Using settlement agreements for redundancy
Settlement agreements are often used when making redundancies as they provide strong protection against the risk of unfair dismissal claims.
An employee being made redundant can be asked to sign a settlement agreement stating that they will not bring an employment tribunal claim in relation to their redundancy. This will usually be in exchange for a one-off payment in addition to any statutory redundancy pay they are due to receive.
For the settlement agreement to be binding, the employee must receive independent legal advice before signing. This is usually funded by the employer to facilitate the settlement process.
Where a large number of employees are due to be made redundant, mass settlement proceedings can be used allowing multiple employees to be advised upon and sign settlement agreements at the same time.
Our employment lawyers can draft settlement agreements for you and act for you during settlement negotiations. We can also provide independent settlement agreement advice for employees at your business or another convenient location, including for mass settlement proceedings.
Dealing with redundancy appeals & disputes
Should a former employee make an accusation of unfair dismissal in relation to their redundancy, it is important to take the matter seriously. In many cases, these situations can be resolved quickly, with minimal fuss and expense, if you have the right legal advice and take the right approach.
Our employment lawyers can advise you on your legal position and options. Where we believe an employee’s unfair dismissal claim may have merit, we can advise on the use of a settlement agreement to resolve the matter swiftly and cost-effectively. We can also guide you through the Acas early conciliation process where appropriate.
In the event that the claim has to be dealt with by an employment tribunal, we can assist with preparing your case and provide representation for the tribunal hearing.
For more information about how employment tribunal claims work, please review our guide to the employment tribunal process.
Redundancy advice fees for employers
We understand the need to keep costs to a minimum when making redundancies given the difficult financial position your business is likely to be in.
We will provide a realistic estimate of the cost involved in guiding your business through redundancy at the outset. This will include a full break down of our fees, including any relevant hourly rates.
Depending on your requirements, some services can be provided on a fixed fee basis e.g. providing independent advice on settlement agreements for employees.
You can find out more about the costs involved with employment tribunal claims by reviewing our employment tribunal prices.
Redundancy FAQs for employers
How much notice do you need to give when making employees redundant?
The minimum notice period you must give will depend on how long any employees at risk of redundancy have worked for you as follows:
- 1 month to 2 years – 1 weeks’ notice
- 2 to 12 years – 1 weeks’ notice for each full year of employment
- 12 years or more – 12 weeks’ notice
When should redundancy pay be paid?
Employees will be owed statutory redundancy pay if:
- They were working for you under a contract of employment
- Have at least 2 years’ continuous service under a contract of employment
- Have been made temporarily or permanently redundant, or had their hours reduced
You should make the redundancy payment at the point where the employee is dismissed or soon after (e.g. on what would have been their next standard pay day).
If you fail to pay statutory redundancy pay where legally required to do so, the relevant employee can make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of their employment ending. Even if this deadline is missed, a tribunal can still consider the matter for up to six months after the employee’s termination.
How long before you can replace a redundant position?
There is no set time limit, but it is important to be able to show that the original redundancy was fair and that there is a genuine need to employ or re-employ someone to fill the position.
Examples of situations where this might apply include where your business lost an important contract or other source or work, meaning you needed to reduce your workforce, then later acquired sufficient new business to justify bringing on additional employees.
How long after making someone redundant can you re-employ them?
Again, there are no set restrictions on this, but you need to be careful to make sure the employee does not feel they have been treated unfairly.
An important point to be aware of is that, where there has only been a very short period between making someone redundant and rehiring them, this could be considered a continuation of their original employment.
In such a situation, the employee may be required to return any statutory redundancy pay they received. There is also a risk you could find yourself under investigation by HMRC if they believe the redundancy was not genuine and you were trying to exploit the tax-free nature of redundancy payments.
Why use our redundancy solicitors for your business?
Our Employment Law team has extensive experience with guiding a wide range of business and organisations through redundancy proceedings. We can therefore make the process as simple and straightforward as possible for you, while making sure your employees are treated fairly and your business is protected.
We are ranked for Employment Law in Wales by respected client guide the Legal 500. This provides independent assurance of the quality of our legal advice across all areas of employment law, including redundancy.
We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), ensuring we maintain the highest legal and professional standards at all times.
We are equally happy to liaise with you in English or Welsh, with our firm including several Welsh speakers and a dedicated Welsh Language Co-ordinator. We are happy to communicate with you in person, through video conferencing, over the phone, by email or via whatever means are most convenient for you.
We have a number of offices covering the whole of South Wales, East Wales and West Wales, including in Swansea and Cardiff. Find out more by taking a look at the contact details for our other law offices in Wales.
Speak to our redundancy lawyers in Wales today
Get in touch with our redundancy solicitors in Wales now by contacting your local JCP office or filling out the enquiry form at the top of the page to request a call back.