Here at Lincs Law Employment Solicitors we receive many calls from employees who have been put “at risk” of redundancy and have been invited to a consultation meeting. If you are in this situation, please read on to find out more.
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 will be happy to help.
What Is a Redundancy Situation?
Essentially, any redundancy process involves your employer stating that they do not need you anymore. After years of hard work, long hours, and dedication to a business, this can be very difficult to hear.
Importantly, there is a legal definition of redundancy which should be established in any redundancy situation. This is where:
- Your employer ceasing to trade altogether; or
- A workplace closing or moving; or
- There is a reduced need for employees to carry out a particular kind of work.
For more information about the definition of redundancy, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/are-you-in-a-redundancy-situation/.
The Consultation Process
Even if there is a genuine redundancy situation which meets the definition above, your employer should still follow a fair procedure. A very important part of the procedure is warning and consulting with employees about the process, including why they are at risk, and how employees will be selected for redundancy.
There is no set legal procedure your employer should follow in an individual redundancy consultation process. However, often this will take the form of scheduling consultation meeting(s) with all affected employees. The purpose of consultation meetings should be to provide information to you about the redundancy situation and to allow you to raise (and receive responses to) any questions and/or concerns you have about the process. Importantly, your employer should have a genuinely open mind in the consultation process, for there to be a two-way dialogue.
It is very important that, throughout the consultation process (and particularly during your meetings), you gather as much information as possible and raise any concerns you have about the process.
Redundancy Consultation: Five Questions to Ask Your Employer
During the first consultation meeting, your employer will likely take the lead in terms of explaining the situation and the process moving forward. You should then be provided in either the first consultation meeting and/or further consultation meetings, the opportunity to ask questions and raise your concerns about the situation.
The type of questions you ask, or representations you make, will depend on your personal situation. However, below are five examples of the questions you may wish to ask your employer:
Question 1: Why Has the Redundancy Situation Arisen?
As above, in any redundancy situation, the legal definition of redundancy should be met. Therefore, to establish if this is the case (and, for example, to ensure that it is a genuine redundancy situation), we advise that you question your employer as to the reasoning behind the redundancy situation.
Question 2: Why Have I Been Selected as At Risk?
If a whole workplace is closing down, then all employees may be in the same position and put at risk of redundancy. However, if your employer has identified only several people from whom they intend to select, you need to understand why you are at risk. You should therefore ask your employer how many people are at risk, and why you in particular are at risk.
Question 3: How Will You Decide Who Is Made Redundant?
If you have been put in a pool of at-risk employees, it is also important you understand how your employer will decide who is actually made redundant. Often this will include a process of scoring employees against a scoring matrix. Therefore, you should ask questions such as:
- What is the basis of the scoring matrix?
- Who will be responsible for undertaking the scoring process?
Importantly, if your employer does use a scoring matrix, you should be provided with the opportunity to review and challenge your scoring.
Question 4: What Alternatives to Redundancy Are Being Considered?
Your employer has an obligation to try and avoid your redundancy. This obligation starts when you are put at risk and continues throughout the redundancy consultation period, all the way through your notice and until the termination of your employment.
You should therefore ask questions about alternatives that are being considered, to try and avoid your redundancy. This could include reducing your hours on a temporary or permanent basis, short time working (if your contract of employment allows for this) or voluntary redundancy.
Question 5: What Other Roles Are Available in the Organisation?
As above, if you are at risk of redundancy, your employer has an obligation to try and avoid your redundancy. Importantly, this involves considering and offering you (if available) any suitable alternative employment in the organisation. This should include any positions you could step into immediately, or with a reasonable amount of training.
Given the above, during the consultation process, your employer should provide you with sufficient information about any vacancies in the organisation. If information about alternative employment is not provided to you, you should make a request to your employer for the same. Ideally, you should make this request in writing (in the event of future litigation).
For more information about suitable alternative employment, please see here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/redundancy-what-is-suitable-alternative-employment/
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
The above aims to provide general guidance on consultation meetings. However, if you are going through a redundancy procedure, Lincs Law Employment Solicitors would be delighted to help you. Please call us for a free enquiry on 01522 440512. Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you to discuss your matter.
You may also find some of my other redundancy blogs helpful:
Are You in A Redundancy Situation? https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/are-you-in-a-redundancy-situation/
Redundancy – What Is Suitable Alternative Employment? https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/redundancy-what-is-suitable-alternative-employment/
I Have Been Made Redundant, Can I Take Time Off to Look For Another Job? https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/i-have-been-made-redundant-can-i-take-time-off-to-look-for-a-new-job/
What Payments Are You Entitled to If You Are Made Redundant? https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/what-payments-are-you-entitled-to-if-you-have-been-made-redundant/
How Do I Appeal My Redundancy? https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/how-do-i-appeal-my-redundancy/
Can You Claim Unfair Dismissal If You Have Been Made Redundant? https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/can-you-claim-unfair-dismissal-if-you-have-been-made-redundant/
Redundancy – Client Success: https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/unfair-dismissal-client-success/
Specialist Employment Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors
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