Making a position redundant.
Never a pleasant experience, find out how to handle redundancies while minimising disruption and legal issues for your small business.

What does redundancy mean?

While it’s common to consider ‘how to make someone redundant’ when looking at staffing issues, actually the most important thing to remember is this; a person is not made redundant, their position is.

Redundancies occur when you no longer need anyone to do a specific job (rather than a performance-based or personal issue with an employee), or if the level of work in a particular role has decreased significantly.

This could be the case for a number of reasons:
Your small business may be pivoting or changing what it does.
You could be operating in a different way – that changes your staffing needs.
You might be moving to a new location.
Your business could be undertaking a merger or closing down entirely.

Breaking it to the employee.

Being made redundant is a traumatic experience for any employee and must be handled sensitively. Try not to be too blunt or too vague, and fully discuss every aspect. You may not be experienced in these matters, so preparation is important.

“A lot of managers have had no training of any kind,” explains Elsey. “It might be a good idea, if not to get some training, to at least read a book about it. Work out what you’re going to say beforehand and make notes of the meeting to file, just in case.”

There is much you can do to help the employee find another job, such as give time off to attend interviews, use your contacts to find vacancies and write references.

Large companies often bring people in to help employees with their CV and job search – something you could do yourself if you have the skills. However much you try to help, though, it is unlikely to be an easy process.

 Giving Notice.

Once any redundancy consultations have been conducted and a final decision has been reached you’ll need to give staff sufficient notice – and agree a leaving date.

You must adhere to at least the minimum statutory notice period (but obviously you can give staff more notice). You can also allow staff to leave sooner than the statutory period if you pay them in lieu of the notice period.

Length of service Notice you must give
1 month to 2 years At least a week
2 years to 12 years A week’s notice for every year employed
12 or more years 12 weeks.

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