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Have the redundancy rules been relaxed due to Covid-19?

View profile for Gillian Markland
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Have the redundancy rules been relaxed due to Covid-19?

Have the redundancy rules been relaxed due to Covid-19? The short answer is no. Even though businesses are going through very difficult trading times, they must still comply with employment legislation when it comes to making redundancies.

Depending on the number of employees a company is contemplating making redundant, the planning is vital. For example, where a company proposes to dismiss between 20 and 99 employees within a 30 day period, they must start the consultation process at least 30 days before an employee’s employment is terminated. For more than 100 employees the required time period increases to 45 days. 

Even if you are proposing to dismiss less than 20 employees, there is still an obligation to follow a fair process which includes considering the pool and selection criteria and having meaningful consultation meetings with individual employees. During these meetings, you should explain the reasons for the potential redundancies, the numbers at risk and explain the pools and proposed selection criteria. Alternatives to redundancy should also be, even if there are none. The meetings should involve the employee and they should be asked to comment on their selection. They should also be asked for suggestions too on how to avoid redundancies. 

Failure to follow a fair process could result in unnecessary and costly employment tribunal claims.

If your business is needing to contemplate redundancies as an option, please get in touch with our employment law specialists so that you can ensure you are applying the rules in the right way in the correct sequence.

Our articles are intended for general information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We are always very happy to discuss any plans, issues or concerns you may have and to clarify how we might be able to help. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.