Redundancy: five mistakes to avoid

Nobody wants to have to make redundancies.  The process to be followed when redundancies are required can seem complex and daunting. 

In our experience from advising employers, the following are the five most common mistakes made and to be avoided. Making these mistakes risks derailing the process, or the possibility of expensive employment tribunal litigation dealing with unfair dismissal claims.

  1. Not embarking on consultation with an open mind and not being capable of being influenced, instead presenting decisions as a “fait accompli”, namely already set in stone.
  2. Forgetting about, or treating differently, those staff who are on leave, for example, long-term sick leave, family friendly leave, or on secondment.
  3. Applying non-objective or potentially discriminatory selection criteria – for example, the Equality Act outlaws “indirect” discrimination where an apparently neutral criterion (for example, length of service) has in practice an adverse effect on members of a protected group and this requirement cannot be objectively justified.
  4. Forgetting to focus on the roles being at risk of redundancy – for example, not carefully considering which employees are carrying out which roles and placing too much reliance on job descriptions without considering what is happening day-to-day.
  5. Failing to fully scope what alternative employment may be available, especially where the company is part of a wider group/network.

We will be covering these five areas in more detail at our next People Matter webinar on 20 July 2023.  Please click book your place here.

Our content explained

Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

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