HRP Group regularly gives support and advice to clients who are looking to undertake a reorganisation which may involve redundancies.
Having expertise in this area, it is worth noting the established procedures that should be followed by companies when implementing redundancies to safeguard the company from a claim.
The case of Michael Walsh v Direct Sportswear Limited (UD366/2015) highlights the importance for employers of following an objective and fair redundancy process. In this case, the Tribunal held that the claimant was unfairly selected for redundancy. The Tribunal awarded the claimant an additional €20,000 on top of the redundancy payment already received for his unfair selection.
Under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015, redundancy is considered to be a fair ground for dismissal. However, 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.
Outlined 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 rationale and getting agreement on the selection method that will be used
- Before any compulsory redundancies are implemented, explore all alternatives such as voluntary redundancy, reduced hours, lay off etc
- Consider redeployment to any alternative positions that might be available within the organisation
- 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 and the process that should be followed call the experts in HRP Group on 01 676 0006