Redundancies: importance of proper process
While figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown a drop in Scottish unemployment for a third consecutive month, this will bring little comfort to employers under continuing pressure to make redundancies during the current recession. Reducing headcount is a stressful process for both employees and management and consideration should be given to a few key areas before any redundancies are carried out:
1Are the dismissals by reason of redundancy as defined in employment legislation? Employers should be careful not to confuse a redundancy situation with non-organisational dismissals (such as those linked to an employee’s capability) – put simply, are less people required generally, as opposed to this person in particular?
2Are there ways to lessen the impact of the redundancies? Employers should consider alternatives to redundancies, such as redeployment; lay-off; restrictions on recruitment, salary increases and overtime. Any variation to contractual terms and conditions will need to be negotiated with the workforce, but employees may be more likely to accept detrimental changes when redundancy is the alternative.
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