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Employer’s Guide to Navigating Redundancy

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Redundancy is a challenging and sensitive process that employers may face due to changing business circumstances. It is crucial for employers to understand the legal requirements, communication strategies, and fair practices associated with redundancy. In this blog, we will provide essential guidance for employers contemplating redundancies, helping them navigate the process effectively and minimize the risk of complaints and legal issues.

Determine a Redundancy Situation

Familiarise yourself with the Employment Rights Act

Before proceeding with redundancies, ensure that you meet the statutory definition of redundancy. Under the Employment Rights Act, a genuine redundancy arises when there is a reduction or anticipated reduction in a specific type of work, and no viable alternatives to dismissal are available. Consultation with affected employees should also be conducted.

Explore Alternatives:

Consider alternatives to compulsory redundancy. This may include options such as temporary or permanent pay cuts, job sharing, or reduced working hours. Additionally, consider inviting voluntary redundancies to mitigate the impact on staff. Clearly communicate that you retain the right to decline applications if the number of applications exceeds the available roles.

Maintain Open Communication:

Maintain open communication with your employees.

Open and transparent communication with employees is crucial throughout the redundancy process. Sharing the challenges facing the business and inviting employee input can encourage a collective dialogue, potentially leading to workable solutions that protect jobs and foster an engaged workforce.

Define Employees at Risk:

Define the criteria for identifying employees who may be at risk of redundancy. Include all employees involved in similar work where there is a reduced need for that type of work. Seek legal advice if there is uncertainty to avoid unfairness and potential legal consequences.

Fair Selection Procedures:

Use fair selection methods.

Implement fair and transparent selection procedures using consistent and objective criteria. Establish reasonable criteria that align with industry standards and consider seeking staff input on the proposed criteria during the consultation process. Avoid discriminatory factors and ensure fairness throughout the selection process.

Offer Suitable Alternative Employment:

If suitable alternative employment becomes available during the redundancy process, consider offering it to affected employees. Special rules apply when offering alternative employment to employees on maternity leave or shared parental leave, so seek legal advice in such cases.

Inform and Consult with Employees:

 Provide clear explanations of the reasons for the proposed redundancies.

Initiate early and meaningful consultation with employees, providing clear explanations of the reasons for the proposed redundancies, the selection process, and those at risk. After the consultation, if no alternatives are viable, invite affected employees to a final meeting to confirm the outcome of the redundancy.

Understand Collective Consultation Obligations:

If considering 20 or more redundancies within a 90-day period at a single establishment, follow the requirements for collective consultation. This includes consulting with elected representatives and can result in penalties for non-compliance. Seek legal advice to ensure compliance with collective consultation obligations.


Employers must approach whistleblowing with care, understanding the legal implications and the importance of protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. By implementing these top tips, organisations can create a supportive environment for reporting wrongdoing, promoting ethical behaviour, and safeguarding the interests of both the employees and the company.

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