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Brexit and Redundancy; a guide for employers

As the Brexit negotiations start getting into full swing and the likes of JP Morgan start looking at moving their offices away from the UK this will mean redundancies are inevitable. While your business may not to the same scale of JP Morgan, if you lose contracts then it will mean, you will need fewer employees to deliver the service. Again, redundancies are inevitable, so here’s a quick guide to ensure that you remain within the right side of the law. 

1. First consultation meeting:

  • Meet with employees collectively. 
  • Explain the reasons for the potential redundancies.
  • Explain how many jobs are at risk. 
  • Explain the methods being explored to avoid the redundancies (for example, restrictions on recruitment, alternative employment, re-training, voluntary early retirement, voluntary redundancy, short-term working and restricting overtime).
  • Explain the selection criteria and scoring guidelines.

2.  Information 

  • Confirm the information given during the meeting in writing.
  • Include a copy of the selection criteria and scoring guidelines.

3. Scoring:

  • Score each employee using the selection criteria and scoring guidelines.
  • Ensure that at least two line managers conduct the scoring, to help ensure scores are objective.

 4. “At risk”

  • Write to those employees that have been provisionally selected for redundancy, ”at risk”, inviting them to a meeting to discuss their provisional selection.
  • Include an invitation to bring a trade union representative or colleague to the meeting.
  • Ensure that the letter is reasonably detailed, setting out the reasons for the redundancy situation and for provisionally selecting the employee for redundancy, and summarising the consultation that has been held with them to date.
  • Explain that no final decision has been made at this stage, and that a further meeting will be arranged if their selection for redundancy is confirmed.
  • Allow the employee a reasonable opportunity to consider this information before holding the meeting.

5. First individual meetings:

  • Consult with each employee individually about their scores, the proposal to select them for redundancy and the terms of the redundancy.
  • Consider any comments from the employee, particularly in relation to their scores.
  • Discuss details of any available alternative roles within the group (including those which would require some retraining and posts on a lower grade).
  • Take a detailed note of the meeting.

 6. Follow up:

  • After the meeting, follow up any suggestions made to avoid the redundancies and consider any representations made on scores.
  • If any employee’s score changes as a result of this process, check if this will result in a change to the group of employees that have been provisionally selected for redundancy.
  • If so, repeat the relevant parts of the procedure with any employees that have been selected for redundancy as a result of the review.

 7. Second individual meeting:

  • Where a decision has been made to make an employee redundant, invite that employee to a further meeting.
  • Allow the employee to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague.
  • Assuming that nothing has changed, confirm that the employee has been selected for redundancy.
  • Go through the redundancy package.
  • Remind the employee of the right to time off to seek alternative employment.
  • Take detailed note of meeting.

8. Dismissal letter:

  • Write to the employee confirming the decision as well as their redundancy package. 
  • Explain the calculation of the redundancy payment and any other payments to be made.
  • Confirm that the employee has the right of appeal. Explain how to appeal and the relevant time limit.

9. Appeal letter:

  • If an employee appeals, invite them to attend a further meeting to hear the appeal. If possible, the meeting should be held by someone senior to the person who held the previous meeting(s).
  • Allow employee to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague.
  • Following the meeting, write to the employee confirming the outcome of the appeal and state that this is the final decision.

Here at SCE Solicitors, we are employment law specialists so if you need advice in making redundancies or restructuring your business please contact us on 01133 50 40 30 or hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and dispute resolution practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Latest posts by Samira Cakali (see all)
Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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