Redundancies are not as simple as many employers seem to think. It is a common misconception that an employer can make that position/employee redundant simply because they are no longer required. We see employers get themselves into trouble in this space, and personal grievances are almost inevitable if it is not done well. 

For a redundancy to take place, an employer must first undertake the restructuring process, which involves several key steps: 

  1. Develop a robust change proposal – this is a crucial part of the process, and one the employer needs to get right. The business case is a letter to all employees (not just those impacted by the restructure) detailing the reasons for the to restructure with all relevant information and should include diagrams of the current organisational structure and the proposed new structure. It is important to note that you must provide employees with all the information that impacts their job. For example, if you are restructuring for financial reasons, you must show employees your financial information. Essentially, this step is informing employees of your plan and why. 

  2. Meeting with all employees – you must call a meeting with all employees to distribute the change proposal and discuss the restructure. 

  3. Consultation is the most crucial step in the entire restructuring process. An employer should be seen to genuinely discuss the restructure and allow employees to provide feedback on the proposal and suggest alternatives for the employer to consider.  

  4. Consider the feedback – once an employer has heard all the feedback from the employees, the employer must carefully consider this feedback. If there are changes to the initial proposal, then it must be redistributed with the amendments to all employees. The employer will then need to repeat the consultation process. Once finishing this process, the employer can then announce the final decision.  

  5. Confirm the decision to all employees – the employer must confirm this decision in writing to all employees, along with confirmation of the new structure. The employer must also notify any impacted employees in writing. 

  6. Meet with affected employees – this is to discuss redundancy. If an employer is creating a new position, the selection criteria for the job must be established and disclosed to employees. 

  7. Redundancy – once the employer has decided which employees are being made redundant, they must distribute a redundancy notification letter.

Ultimately, suppose you are an employer wanting to undertake the restructuring/redundancy process. In that case, we highly recommend you seek legal advice before you do so to ensure that you follow the process correctly and reduce the risk of an employee bringing a personal grievance claim against you. The iCLAW employment law team can help you navigate the process by being as hands-on as you require.

For employees currently or previously impacted by a restructure/redundancy, we can offer you advice on the process or help raise a personal grievance if the employer hasn’t undertaken the process correctly.

If you have any questions regarding the Restructuring/Redundancy and how it may impact you as an employer or employee, please do not hesitate to contact Olivia Day at iCLAW or 07 929 4300 to make an appointment.