Employment Restructuring

Where restructuring and reorganisation of a business impacts on employees the law requires that employees are consulted both prior to the change and at the time the proposal for change is developed. Employees who might be faced with the dreaded word "redundancy" will be under stress, and react accordingly. It is important to manage this process carefully.

In short, consultation generally requires telling the affected employees of the proposal for change and inviting their feedback on this, considering their feedback and then communicating a decision.

The nature of the restructuring or reorganisation impacts on what consultation is necessary and how that consultation is to be carried out. For example, the restructuring might relate to a merger of more than one business or a change in the employing entity structure, or it might be reallocating role responsibilities or reducing the number of employees. When businesses are sold or work formerly undertaken by employees is contracted out, particular rules apply to "vulnerable employees". These include cleaners and food catering workers.

Employers should get advice before restructuring of any kind if employees are potentially affected by it. Equally, employees faced with restructuring (and potentially redundancy) may benefit from early advice on their particular situation.

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