One of the top ten queries that SFA receive from its members is the issue of redundancy. These include queries on the redundancy selection process, how best to inform employees and what are the redundancy entitlements for employees.
This week’s article will focus on the dos and don’ts of selecting and consulting with the employees in relation to redundancy. This will ensure that best practice is carried out. These tips could potentially protect businesses from receiving a claim.
The case of Michael Walsh v Direct Sportswear Limited UD366/2015 highlights the importance for employers in following an objective and fair redundancy procedure. In this case, the Tribunal held that the employee was unfairly selected for redundancy and they awarded the employee an additional €20,000 on top of the redundancy payment they already received for the unfair selection.
Under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015, redundancy is considered a fair ground for dismissal but the onus is on the employer to prove that a genuine redundancy took place and that the process and selection criteria used were fair and reasonable.
Below are some of the key steps that an employer should take to ensure that a fair redundancy process is implemented:
- Engage with employees at an early stage regarding any proposed redundancies, explaining the reason for making the role redundant and getting agreement on the selection method that will be used for the redundancy process
- Redundancy is a difficult process and should be the last resort. Consider all other alternatives before issuing any compulsory redundancies. These alternatives could be reduced hours, lay off, voluntary redundancy and so forth.
- Consider redeployment to alternative positions that might be available within the business, if any
- Consider any proposals put forward by the employee(s) concerned and explore these fully with the employee
- Give the employee(s) a right to apply for and to be considered for any new roles being created
- Ensure notes are taken at each meeting and request that the employee(s) sign these to confirm they are an accurate reflection of the items discussed
- Give the employee(s) an option to be accompanied at the meetings
- Consider offering a right to appeal the redundancy decision
For further information on redundancy, check out the useful guideline available on the SFA website or check out our webinar on redundancy here.
If you would like more information on the redundancy process or any other HR issues your business may have, please contact Helen at SFA on 01 605 1668 or at email@example.com or visit the advice section on our website www.sfa.ie/advice