Like this page?
Send it to a friend!
Aleena talks redundancy
With the UK seemingly headed for recession, BBC Radio Derby's Aleena Naylor is briefed on the ins and outs of redundancy by employment solicitor Jameel Mann of Geldards Solicitors.
Redundancies are on the rise...
Jameel says: "We've noticed an increase over the past few months in clients needing urgent advice when making redundancies,† many wishing to carry them out without delay.
Everyone is affected...
Jameel says: "It's affecting all sorts of businesses. We're having a lot of queries from property developers and the construction industry but I think the economic downturn is hitting everyone at the moment.
You can't mess around with redundancy...
Jameel explains: "Making redundancies can be an expensive game - particularly if you get it wrong! The most important thing is to follow full and fair procedures in accordance with the statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedures.
"They're fairly basic procedures but we find a lot of employers aren't aware of them or simply get them wrong."
And this is how it should work...
Jameel tells us: "First of all, a company needs to identify an appropriate pool of selection, before† consulting with every employee who is going to be affected. As an employee, you'll be given the chance to air your views and discuss any alternatives to redundancy during the consultation process.
"Once the consultation process has taken place, if redundancies cannot be avoided,† the employer may need to dismiss the employee on the grounds of redundancy in accordance with what we call the statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedures.
"These involve, amongst other things, inviting an employee to a meeting where they should continue to discuss any alternatives to redundancies. Either at that meeting or shortly after, they may be dismissed but should be given the right of appeal against the decision."
How does redundancy get decided?
Jameel says: "Once an employer has identified a pool of employees for redundancy, they'll need to consider how many redundancies they need to make and the selection criteria that will be used. The† selection criteria needs to be carried out as objectively as possible and needs to be verified. It cannot simply represent someone’s personal opinion.
"This is effectively carried out as a points-scoring system where the employees are scored during the consultation process and the lowest scoring individuals are often made redundant at the end of it.
What could the alternatives be?
Jameel explains: "These can include things like holding back on overtime, re-training or offering voluntary redundancy, thus reducing† the amount of compulsory redundancies the employer originally planned to make.
"Also companies should consider alternative positions and may have posts available at a more junior level that should be offered. Employees may be interested in these positions to maintain their employment status."
And if the company goes down the pan...
Jameel advises: "If a business closes and the administrators come in, you may well be dismissed on the grounds of redundancy.
"It's important you do all you can to make sure you receive your statutory redundancy entitlement, notice entitlement along with any holiday entitlement you've accrued as far as you can.
"We advise employees to take every reasonable step to obtain these payments from the company if possible but if you're unable to do this you can apply to the secretary of state for a redundancy payment.
"There's a specific national insurance fund to assist these kinds of scenarios."
Money money money...
Jameel says: "How much money you can expect if made redundant can depend on the provisions of your contract of employment.
"Your minimum entitlement if made redundant is to receive a statutory redundancy payment which is based upon a week’s pay of £330 and calculated based upon a multiplier using† your age and length of service.
"You'll also be entitled to any holiday entitlement you've accrued up to the date of the termination of your employment and obviously your notice payment.
"Some employees will have the benefit of contractual enhanced redundancy payments but you'll need to check your employment contract to see what you're entitled to."
And if you don't think you've been treated fairly?
Jameel explains: "If you don't think your employer has done things correctly you can either bring a claim in a tribunal or if you're entering into a compromise agreement you may have already received some form of ex gratia payment in recognition of any failings on the part of your employer.
last updated: 30/09/2008 at 11:57