Genuine redundancy is a term used in employment law to describe a situation where an employee is no longer required to perform the duties of their role, and their position is, therefore, redundant.
There are several reasons why an employer may make a role redundant, including a change in the business’s needs or structure or a downturn in business fortunes. If an employer wants to make an employee redundant, they must follow a fair process.
How Does Genuine Redundancy Work?
In the workplace, the term ‘redundancy’ describes an employee’s job no longer exists. This can be for several reasons, such as the workplace closing down, a change in the type of work being done, or a reduction in the available work.
When an employee is made redundant, they are entitled to certain payments and benefits, including a redundancy payment, notice pay, and help to find new employment.
The first step in the redundancy process is for the employer to consult with employees and their representatives if they have one. The consultation should cover the reasons for the redundancy, the number of redundancies proposed, and any measures that could be taken to avoid or reduce the number of redundancies.
Employees at risk of redundancy should be allowed to discuss their situation with their employer and put forward suggestions for avoiding or reducing the number of redundancies.
If the consultation does not result in an agreement, the employer can give the affected employees notice of redundancy. Employees should be given at least four weeks’ notice if they are being made redundant.
Once an employee has been given notice of redundancy, they will be entitled to a redundancy payment. The amount of the redundancy payment is based on the employee’s length of service and age.
Employees who have been made redundant may also be entitled to notice pay, which is paid instead of notice if the employee does not want to or cannot work their notice period.
In addition, employees who have been made redundant may be entitled to help with finding new employment, such as outplacement support or retraining.
What Are the Obligations of the Employer?
When an employer decides to make redundancies, they have certain legal obligations. These include consulting with employees and their representatives, providing information about redundancies, and offering alternative employment where possible.
The consultation process should involve discussions about the proposed redundancies, their reason, and any measures that could be taken to avoid or limit the need for redundancies. Employees should be allowed to express their views and suggest alternatives.
The employer must also provide employees with information about the redundancies, including the number and categories of employees affected, the proposed timetable, and the selection criteria.
What Happens If Employers Violate Redundancy Obligations?
When an employer decides to make redundancies, they must adhere to a number of statutory obligations to avoid unfair or constructive dismissal claims. The key redundancy obligation is the requirement to consult with employees who may be at risk of redundancy or their representatives.
If an employer fails to consult with employees before making redundancies, they may be liable for unfair dismissal, even if the redundancies are genuine.
The consultation must be meaningful and take into account the employees’ views. The employer must also consider any alternatives to redundancy put forward by the employees.
If an employer does not consult properly, they may be ordered to reinstate or re-engage the unfairly dismissed employees. The employer may also be ordered to pay compensation to the employees.
Genuine redundancy is a situation where an employee is no longer needed in their role due to changes in the business. This can be due to several factors, such as technological changes, the economy, or the company’s business model. Employees who are made redundant are entitled to certain benefits, such as a redundancy payment.
If you need a redundancies lawyer, you can contact us at Saines Legal. We aim to help employees protect their rights and employers ensure that they fulfil their obligations. Get in touch with us to learn more.