After Furlough , what next?
Do you need to consider redundancies ? See https://www.gov.uk/staff-redundant
Your legal obligations may include
Reference: Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, Part IV, Chapter 11
The government must help employees facing redundancy. To do this, advance notification of potential redundancies is required from employers. Failure to comply with the statutory notification requirements without good cause may result in prosecution and a fine, on summary conviction, for the company and/or officers of the company.
Where employers are furloughing their staff and they are not contemplating dismissing 20 or more staff in a single establishment there is no requirement to carry out a formal consultation and notify the Secretary of State
You are required by law to notify the Redundancy Payments Service ( RPS) of a proposal to dismiss 20 or more employees as redundant at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less.
If you operate from more than one site , each site is treated separately for notification and consultation purposes. An establishment is the site where an employee is assigned to work . You must complete a form HR1: Advanced Notification of Redundancies , for each site where 20 or more redundancies are proposed . https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/redundancy-payments-form-hr1-advance-notification-of-redundancies
Where employers are furloughing their staff and they are not contemplating dismissing 20 or more staff in a single establishment there is no requirement to carry out a formal consultation and notify the Secretary of State ( using HR1)
Your minimum period for notification and consultation for:
- Between 20 and 99 redundancies at one of your establishments , is at least 30 days before the first dismissal
- 100 or more redundancies at one of your establishments , is at least 45 days before the first dismissal.
You must notify the Government at least 30/45 days before the first dismissal and before you issue any individual notices of dismissal
Practical tips for effective consultation
- The importance of detailed planning . Consider using an Employment Lawyer , at least to provide you with a framework and template letters.
- Establishing the business case for redundancies . Can you avoid them ? Can you redeploy? What are your reasons for the proposed redundancies ?
- Establish proposed numbers and timescale . How many ? Are they all at one ‘establishment’? When are the redundancies likely to take place ?
- Identifying appropriate selection pools. Who may be affected ? What categories ?
- Identifying proposed selection criteria . What will you use ? Do you have performance data ? Is your criteria objective and fairly and consistently applied ? Can you ensure you retain the best employees in terms of skills and expertise to meet the future needs of the business?
- Establishing redundancy terms . If no terms are in existence , specific ones will have to be formulated. These may include voluntary as well as compulsory terms. Wil you use Settlement agreements ? Will employees have to work their notice or stay until a defined point in time ? How will payments be treated for the purposes of tax ?
- Identifying outplacement and other support . Will you offer any support to redundant employees ? Job fairs , CV preparation , interview skills , time off for interviews ?
- Preparing appropriate communications. Key communications will include a letter sent directly to all affected employees . Take care to include employees on long-term sick leave, maternity , paternity, shared parental, adoption or parental leave, secondment, or holiday . Do not forget where employees have elected representatives, the arrangement for that election, numbers elected , who can stand, and the process of election must be explained . You may need to also consider communications to customers , suppliers , press releases etc .
- Developing a timetable for consultation . Is the timescale realistic given commercial pressures ? Does it meet regulatory requirements and legal constraints ?
- Allocating responsibilities . Who is doing what and when ? Who is controlling the process? Diarise key meetings .
Hopefully the above is helpful , should you find yourself in this situation . Please do speak to us to see if we can offer and assistance . 7