Redundancy Consultation: Questions To Ask
Being told you are at risk of redundancy puts pressure on you and your family. Unfortunately, you are often stressed and anxious at the very time you need to be thinking clearly. At Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, we want to help. In this post we set out some questions to help you prepare for your redundancy consultation meeting.
We always hope the information on our website is helpful, but we are aware that the best assistance is to discuss your problem with a fully qualified redundancy solicitor. If you would like a free consultation with one of the team at Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, please use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email email@example.com or call us on 01522 440512 and we’ll be happy to help
At its essence, any redundancy process involves your employer stating that they do not need you anymore. After years of hard work, long hours, interrupted holidays and dedication to a business, this can be a very difficult message to hear. Legal definitions of redundancy refer to job roles and employers will often say their decision is not personal, however, it is obviously personal to you which is why you should fully engage with the process.
All redundancy processes will involve some type of redundancy consultation. Often this will take the form of a meeting (face to face, video or phone) with your employer. It is important to attend the consultation meetings and raise any concerns you have about the redundancy process. The types of questions you ask, or representations you make, will depend upon your personal situation. However, I set out below some of the more common queries raised:-
1. Is This A Genuine Redundancy Situation?
In the current climate, the existence of a redundancy situation or the circumstances resulting in fewer members of staff being needed by your employer might be self-evident.
However, depending upon your employer’s business, you may take a different view and consider that there is no need for a reduction of staffing at all. This might be the situation if your employer is suggesting redundancies at the same time as seeking to recruit staff for a similar or the same job role as the employees at risk.
Alternatively, you might consider you are being targeted for reasons wholly unrelated to any genuine restructure or redundancy.
You should be ready to challenge your employer about the need for redundancies. Ask why; why now; what are they hoping the redundancy or redundancies will achieve; what will happen to your duties and responsibilities; what alternatives have they considered? Make sure your concerns are known and make sure you obtain a response from your employer to your questions. Also make sure there is a record of any evidence you present contradicting their answers.
2. How Has The Pool Of “At Risk” Employees Been Identified?
In circumstances where a business has closed completely, this is unlikely to be an issue as all employees will be at risk. However, if the employer is still continuing with their work and is suggesting only some employees are at risk of redundancy, they need to explain how they have decided who those employees are. If a “pool” of employees has been identified as being at risk, (for example, a pool of ten employees are at risk with the intention of making five of the ten redundant) how was the decision made about who was and was not in the pool.
Essentially, if your employer has identified a number of people from which they intend to select some employees to be made redundant, you want to be sure that the correct people are in the pool. Challenge your employer as to how they selected the employees involved. Identify those you believe should have been included but were not and, if you believe you have been incorrectly added, challenge your inclusion in the pool of employees at risk.
3. Is The Process Of Selection Fair?
If there is:
- a genuine redundancy situation; and,
- the pool of employees at risk is correctly identified,
- the next issue is what criteria the employer is intending to use to select which of the employees in the pool will be made redundant.
Make sure you understand how your employer will undertake the selection, for example, have you got a copy of their criteria and process? If you have, consider whether you believe the criteria and their way of scoring are fair. Is the process discriminatory? Has too much weighting been given to some scores rather than others? Ask your employer why they have chosen the selection criteria they have.
4. Have You Been Fairly Selected For Redundancy?
If there is:
- a genuine redundancy situation;
- the pool of employees at risk is correctly identified; and,
- there is a fair selection process,
- the next consideration is whether that selection process has been applied fairly to you.
At points one to three above, the consideration has been the business need and the intended process to be used by your employer generally. At this stage, you now need to consider whether your employer has been fair in selecting you personally. If there is a scoring system, have you been scored fairly? Has your employer taken into account other skills or benefits you bring to your job? This is about you understanding why you have been chosen and considering whether that decision was fair.
5. Has Your Employer Considered Alternatives To Redundancy?
- is a genuine redundancy situation;
- the pool of employees at risk is correctly identified;
- there is a fair selection process; and,
- that process has been applied fairly to you,
- the next consideration is whether there are alternatives to your redundancy.
Your employer has an obligation to try and avoid redundancies wherever possible. That obligation extends throughout the redundancy consultation period, all the way through your notice, and, until the termination of your employment. Therefore, alternatives to making you redundant should be considered by your employer. Examples being:
- If your contract allows for short time working, is this a viable alternative?
- Would you be willing to reduce your hours on a temporary or permanent basis?
- Are there any temporary or permanent vacancies which you would be suitable for (with or without a period of training)? This is known as suitable alternative employment and more information can be found on our blog at https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/redundancy-procedure-what-is-suitable-alternative-employment/
The above is not an exhaustive list of questions and there may be other issues or concerns you have about your proposed redundancy. It is important that you use the consultation meetings to set out those concerns and obtain a response from your employer. After all, if there is a genuine redundancy situation and they are following a fair procedure, they should have no difficulty in answering your questions.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you are going through a redundancy process and are worried about being made redundant, please contact us using the contact form, engage in a web chat, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01522 440512 for a free consultation with an employment solicitor. If you would like more information about redundancy procedures, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/redundancy/
If you have been made redundant and your employer’s decision was unfair, you may have an Employment Tribunal claim. Click on the link to take our online questionnaire and find out: https://lincslaw.co.uk/have-you-been-made-redundant-do-you-have-an-unfair-dismissal-claim/
Feedback From Our Clients
At Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, we want to help you. Below are examples of reviews from clients we have helped with their redundancy problems:
Review from Redundancy client for Sally Hubbard, Managing Director, Specialist Employment Solicitor
“I was recently made redundant from a group company where one of the subsidiaries went insolvent. Sally reviewed all details of my case, reviewed documentation, and walked me through various options and recommendations. I now have a suggested approach and understanding of why that approach was recommended. Sally was great!”
Review from Redundancy client for Lucy Stones, Associate, Specialist Employment Solicitor
“I was at risk of redundancy. Lucy guided me through what was happening and what I should expect to happen. There were some problems with the redundancy calculations too, which she spotted for me. Lucy gave me clear advice and was very helpful.”
Review from Redundancy client for Jasmine Stewart, Specialist Employment Solicitor
“Jasmine listened very patiently, collating a great amount of information, calmly guiding me through my options, making it very clear to me that I was under no obligation and that I still had a choice.
I am extremely impressed with Jasmine’s knowledge and ability to take over the discussions on my behalf. She was able to increase my settlement and provide an outcome I am happy with”.
Review from Redundancy (Disputed Suitable Alternative Employment) client for Sally Hubbard, Managing Director, Specialist Employment Solicitor
“Sally has been outstanding. From my first conversation with her, she demonstrated her breadth of experience and expertise in this area. She was quick-thinking, fantastic at communicating her thoughts, both verbally and in written format, and easy going and approachable. She was always available for advice when needed and maintained a professional but approachable demeanour throughout.
I was completely satisfied with every aspect of her work. I highly recommend Sally – without reservation.”
Sally Hubbard, Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, Lincoln
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