The process of writing a redundancy letter is a dreadful one for both management and workers. It is possible to reduce the likelihood of a subsequent unfair dismissal tribunal by following a systematic and accurate consultation approach.
Because of the continuous cultural shifts, many organisations are reevaluating their workforces to face the challenges of the future better.
A well-considered business case for redundancy is required to enable a smooth transition for all stakeholders.
As an employer, you should demonstrate that you have taken efforts to avoid redundancy.
However, if layoffs are unavoidable, you must follow a certain method for written messages.
Types of redundancy letter
There is a certain kind of letter for every step of the redundancy process. A multi-stage consultation process may need more than three documents, but three is minimum. They are as follows:
- The Business Case and At-Risk letter
- Consultation Meeting letter
- Confirmation of Redundancy letter
Throughout this process, keep in mind that most workers are mainly concerned with their financial well-being — their mortgage, bills, and vacation plans. Writing anything down might be helpful since they’ll likely miss out on what you communicate vocally.
Be empathetic, as well. Employees and their families go through a tough period when they are laid off, and you must realise this and assist them.
Laying out the business case for employees at risk
Before implementing a redundancy plan, the company’s owner must provide a business case, including the actions taken to keep layoffs to a minimum. These may include halting new hires to find new positions for your present employees or other strategies to conserve money for the company.
Redundancy is most often in the following situations:
- The duties of a position have stopped or lessened or are projected to do so shortly.
- The work site was shut down and secured after completion.
- Due to a decrease in corporate expenses that is essential,
- If technology has superseded the need for human labour,
- For instance, in the event of a merger inside a company.
For example, if you’ve discovered redundant positions, the technique you take will change depending on whether you’re making a group of people redundant vs eliminating an individual function.
Including all of this information in your first letter is a good place to start. You’re now ready to begin the consultation phase.
Recording your consultation process in writing
As previously said, written communication serves as a formal record of your process and allows your employees to comprehend information that they may otherwise miss via simply spoken contact.
As a result, you should send a follow-up note after each meeting in your consultation process.
Employees will be made aware of the possibility of being laid off during your first round of consultations, which will include an explanation of the company’s planned redundancy programme. Employee representatives must be chosen if more than 20 workers are picked within 30 days of public consultation.
An open and unscripted dialogue is essential to the success of the process. To prevent the need for layoffs, the following step in your consultation will be to listen to what people have to say. Again, this is backed up by a written statement. If you don’t have any ideas or your ideas aren’t feasible, you should explain why.
With the help of a group of workers, you’ll now be deciding and defining the criteria for selection. However, employees are not allowed to view their coworkers’ scores.
Skills, performance, disciplinary histories, and attendance are all considered by managers. Take care to account for individuals on maternity leave and accommodate those with disabilities when calculating attendance. The selection process must be fair and based on objective criteria, and data rather than opinions should back up all marks. Discrimination claims based on protected characteristics, including age, handicap, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or pregnancy, should be avoided at all costs.
Once you’ve chosen your staff, you should begin searching throughout the organisation for any relevant positions for them.
Last but not least, if there are no open positions, you should send a letter to the employee informing them of their termination and providing them with their last salary – either the statutory amount or, if you’re paying enhanced redundancy, their contractual number.
In addition to one week’s compensation for the first month of service, a week’s pay for up to two years of service, and one week every year of service to a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice or their contract, whichever is larger.
Notification and holiday compensation should include overtime, and employers should remember to add any holiday pay for accumulated but untaken vacation time.
Payment instead of Notice (PILON) may be included in certain contracts, allowing you to terminate an employee’s employment without giving them a notice period.
When firing an employee before their notice period has expired, be mindful of the possibility of a tribunal suit.
Of course, this is only a quick overview meant to cover a wide range of potential scenarios. It is the employer’s responsibility to offer as much information as feasible about a redundancy programme and to do so with an eye toward compliance at all times. This procedure might lead to an employment tribunal if you make any mistakes. As a result, don’t continue if you have any doubts about your compliance ability. Take the guidance of a specialist before moving further.