Resorting to redundancy to restructure your business, change location, or reduce costs involves legal aspects that you want to get right. By giving your staff the necessary redundancy notice period, you will minimise the risks of tribunal claims.
When you make employees redundant, you need to cover all legal requirements for a fair, compliant process. This includes providing reasons for redundancy, determining the roles at risk, the selection criteria, holding a consultation and offering redundancy pay and notice period.
Ensure you give your employees the required notice period, as otherwise, you risk claims of wrongful dismissal. Our experienced advisors can help you stay on the right side of the law while managing the whole process. Call our 24/7 HR advice line on 01455 858 132.
Here, we will discuss the relevant aspects regarding the statutory minimum notice period for redundancy.
The employment law on redundancy notice period
Redundancy is just another form of dismissal you can opt for under special circumstances.
Thinking of how to calculate the redundancy notice period, you apply the statutory notice period as a minimum, as follows:
- No notice required if the employee has worked for you for less than a month
- One week’s notice given if the employee has worked for you for more than a month, but less than two years
- One week's notice for every complete year of service to a maximum of 12 weeks
Remember that making somebody redundant and dismissing them for poor performance or gross misconduct are very different situations. You might want to offer an extended notice period for redundancy while sticking to the minimum requirements for the other two situations.
Before you discuss with your employees, think of how this will impact both sides. For your company, sticking to the minimum statutory requirements might save you money. But will this make a significant difference for your business going forward? If the answer is no, consider offering more than the minimum required notice. If you make the transition easier for them, they will more likely leave on good terms. This will contribute towards keeping a good reputation and good morale for your remaining workforce.
The same applies in the case of a notice period for voluntary redundancy. Even more so, since they have volunteered to leave, find out if a longer or a shorter negotiable period will benefit them. Remember that whatever period you agree on cannot be below the statutory minimum.
You must also remember that any contractual notice period applies to redundancy as well.
When does the redundancy notice period start?
With redundancy regularly emerging as a hot topic in HR, our advisors have seen the above question reoccurring on advice calls.
While the process follows several stages, including the consultation, notice starts on the date identified in the redundancy letter. This date needs to respect the minimum statutory requirements, as explained above, or contractual terms.
Don’t make the mistake of dating the start of redundancy back to when you announced staff will become redundant.
Redundancy notice period in the UK further questions
Making staff redundant takes time and preparation as it is a fairly complex process. During periods of big economic change, businesses that never had to use this option may find that they have to. Learning from other employers’ experience can help ease the process.
So, let’s look at three other frequently asked questions that our advisors have seen over time.
- What about the employee leaving during the redundancy notice period?
If any of the employees at risk ask to leave early, consider the impact this will have on your business. Find out about their reasons and discuss. Maybe they found a new job to move their career forward and you can spare a week to allow them to move on earlier.
Leaving during their notice will place them at risk of losing their statutory redundancy pay. However, this is entirely up to you. If it doesn’t affect your business too much, you can agree to them leaving on good terms.
- What if an employee goes off sick during the redundancy notice period?
Generally speaking, if they take sick leave, they will get the statutory sick leave pay, just as any employee would. This means that their normal pay will be affected. However, there are some scenarios that might mean an employee is eligible for full pay even if off sick. For more information on this, call one of HR advisors on 01455 858 132.
- Can I extend the redundancy notice period?
You may need to consider this option if it takes more time to restructure your business than initially anticipated. If you already gave notice, you are legally bound by the terms of the document. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot negotiate.
Remember that you will need the employee’s consent to extend the notice period. Otherwise, they can legally leave at the date you initially gave them.
Get support in dealing with redundancy
One of the more complex options to terminate employment, redundancy comes with advantages and disadvantages. While it can help you save money and restructure your business, it also comes with human costs.
Positively leading the process will most likely benefit both you and your staff. This is easier said than done, but we can help. Call our 24/7 HR advice line to discuss your situation and how we can help with redundancy and any other employment law aspects, on 01455 858 132.
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