Acas has published a process map for employers who are having to consider making redundancies due to coronavirus. The interactive tool has been designed to help employers better understand redundancy processes, required steps and good practice when engaging with employees. It also provides details of options and alternatives to making redundancies and prompts employers to consider further support they can provide to their staff.
The tool simply provides an overview of the steps and processes involved, but it does link to more detailed Acas guidance and information on managing staff redundancies.
As part of ensuring a redundancy process is both fair and complies with statutory requirements, employers must:
- be confident there is a genuine redundancy situation, i.e. there is an actual or intended closure of the business, there is an actual or intended closure of the business at a particular workplace, or the requirements of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish
- undertake meaningful individual consultation in all cases, which will involve holding a series of individual meetings with affected employees, the purposes of which are for the employer to explain their proposals and the reasons for them and to give staff a reasonable opportunity to put forward their own suggestions, ask questions and generally have their say before any final decisions on redundancy are taken
- undertake statutory collective consultation with appropriate representatives, i.e. trade union or elected employee representatives, where the proposal is to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less – and the Secretary of State will also need to be notified, according to prescribed timescales, on form HR1
- fairly select those employees who are to be made redundant – this will include identifying the relevant selection pool and the proposed objective and non-discriminatory selection criteria and then applying a fair scoring system to those criteria in order to select who is to provisionally be made redundant
- give due consideration to suitable alternative employment and other alternatives to compulsory redundancy – employers need to carefully focus on the various ways in which redundancy could be avoided
- not issue any redundancy notices until the consultation process (both individual and, where applicable, collective) is complete
- preferably give a right of appeal against any redundancy decision.
Employers must also ensure that statutory minimum notice and statutory redundancy payment obligations are met on redundancy, together with any enhanced contractual obligations.