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Help for small firms

Handling small-scale redundancies - A step-by-step guide

Handling small-scale redundancies - Be prepared: Make a plan

Draw up a draft framework of what you are thinking of doing and in what order. If you are making/intend to make fewer than 20 people redundant, this should include.

  • Briefing your managers (Step 1) - talking with your managers will help smooth the process and help you work out what support they need.  If you are the owner and only manager, you may need help and/or training.
  • Talking to your staff (Step 2) - you're legally required to consult meaningfully with your staff.  This is a very specific way of discussing the situation with staff, so working out how, when and what to talk about is important. It's also useful because your staff may give you options that you hadn't previously considered.
  • Choosing redundant staff carefully (Step 3) - if redundancy does turn out to be the way forward, you need to plan how you will fairly and consistently decide which jobs will go. You also need to plan how you will select people for redundancy from those posts.
  • Giving redundancy notice and pay (Step 4) - this should be part of your discussions and, handled well, can be reassuring for your staff and your business planning.
  • Remembering notice period rights (Step 5) - being mindful of special rights your redundant staff have to look for jobs or training will help you plan ahead. Also, if other jobs in your business come about, there are provisions for trial periods that could help you avoid redundancy costs.
  • Allowing for staff to appeal against their selection for redundancy (Step 6) - this can often give you a chance to be absolutely sure you've done the right thing, and give you the opportunity to put it right if not.
  • Focussing on your businesses future (Step 7) - it's important to remember that redundancy is meant to help you get your business back on track. You'll need to plan how the business will operate when redundant staff leave and communicate your vision for the future of the business to the staff who will be staying.

Could there be more than 20 redundancies?

If you are making (or intending to make) 20 or more employees redundant within a period of 90 days, there are extra legal requirements to follow. In these circumstances, see Acas pdf icon Advisory booklet - Handling large-scale (collective) redundancies [521kb].

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