17 Jul 2020
Letters are the main way of keeping employees “in the know” regarding redundancy. The UK employment law requires you to issue letters at all stages throughout the process.
But how do you start writing such an important letter? And, what should you include in each one? You can read our guide for insights, or get in touch with us on 01455 858 132 for immediate support.
What is a redundancy letter?
There are several types of redundancy letter. The one thing they all have in common is they serve to keep the employee informed about redundancy proceedings.
Whether the letter is informing them their position is at risk of redundancy, inviting them to a consultation meeting, or informing them you’ve selected them for redundancy, you need to write them in a way that ensures your legal compliance.
Redundancy letter types
There are several types of letters. Including:
- Job at risk of redundancy letter.
- Redundancy consultation letter.
- Redundancy notice letter.
The first letter should be the initial contact with the employee(s) about the potential for redundancy.
The second should be the letter you send to invite them to a consultation meeting.
And, the final letter should inform them that you’ve selected them for redundancy and what the next steps will be.
Do note that may not necessarily be the final letter. There can be more at that stage, such as a second consultation meeting. The letter process just moves in stages.
What should I include in a redundancy letter?
This is dependent on which letter you’re writing. For full details of what to include in each, individual letter, visit the links above. For a general overview, we’ve got you covered.
In each letter, you should provide employees as much information on the redundancy process as possible.
This means communicating updates, as well as what upper management is doing to ensure all alternatives to redundancy are being considered.
You should also inform employees of their rights at all times. For example, certain employees might be eligible for redundancy pay.
How to write a redundancy letter to employees
There are some key considerations when writing a redundancy letter to employees.
The first, and most important from your perspective, is compliance. To avoid claims of unfair dismissal, it’s vital you follow a fair and legally compliant process.
Otherwise you may face a costly and damaging employment tribunal.
So, the question you should be asking with each letter is, “Will this open me up to claims?” If the answer is anything other than a no, don’t proceed.
The second thing to consider is whether you’ve accurately conveyed all the relevant information.
Don’t send a letter to an employee until you’re certain of the plan moving forward. Know how long your consultation process will be and how you are going to conduct meetings before you start inviting employees to meetings.
With those three considerations in mind, let’s move on to how to write a redundancy letter.
Begin “Dear Sir/Madam”. Then, outline the purpose of your letter. If the purpose is to inform the employee that their role is at risk of redundancy, tell them that. If it’s asking them to attend a consultancy meeting, tell them that.
Next, you’ll want to outline what they need to know, including their rights. Let’s use the redundancy notice letter as an example. Here, you’ll need to tell them how many weeks’ notice they are entitled to, and why.
You should tell them how your organisation will treat accrued annual leave if not taken before their final date of employment.
Inform them of how much redundancy pay they can expect, and when they will receive it. Finally, inform them of their right to appeal the decision.
Finalise the letter with a more personal touch. Redundancy is a stressful and emotional time for the employee. Tell them that your door is open for discussion, and where they can find support if they need it.
This is a generic template for how to write a redundancy letter to employees in the UK.
Every business is different, so you must adapt any template or guide you’re given for your organisation.
If you need further guidance on writing redundancies letters, or just need support with the redundancy process as a whole, call one of our expert advisers on 01455 858 132.
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