Litigation, Disputes and Employment

Potential Redundancies: Suggested Steps to Take

on Wednesday, 08 June 2016. Posted in Litigation, Disputes and Employment

Potential Redundancies: Suggested Steps to Take

When a potential redundancy situation arises, employers should take advice specific to their situation. In this Guide Brookfields Lawyers specialist Employment Lawyers have provided information about suggested steps which should be taken.

Introduction

  • We suggest that you have approximately three meetings with each employee whose position may be redundant (note that some circumstances may require more or less meetings). You will need to conduct these meetings with each employee individually.
  • At these meetings you should have two representatives from your company present. This will help to ensure both that good notes are taken and that there is less risk of any future dispute arising over what was said during the meetings.
  • Before each meeting you should also invite the employee to bring along his or her own support person or representative.

Step 1

Prior to the first meeting, provide the employees who are potentially affected with a letter which:

  • Sets out the fact that the employee’s position has been identified as potentially redundant.
  • Provides the reason(s) why there may need to be redundancies (e.g. restructuring, merger etc).
  • Sets a time and place for the first meeting and confirms that the employee may have a support person or representative present.
  • Confirms that no final decision has been made and that the employee’s input is sought.

Step 2

  • At the first meeting discuss with the employee the reasons for and the nature of possible redundancy. Be open about the reasons why this particular employee is being selected for possible redundancy and provide information on the selection process to the employee.
  • Make it clear that no final decision regarding the employer’s redundancy or redeployment has been made and that you are open to any suggestions that he or she may wish to make as to his or her future employment.
  • Explain that you would like the employee to have further opportunity to think about the possibility of his/her redundancy and to consider any alternatives for the continuation of his or her employment.
  • Discuss with the employee what the terms of his or her redundancy will be if you decide that the position will be made redundant, for example, that he/she will receive payment in lieu of notice and/or compensation for the redundancy. Ask the employee for his/her input as to the appropriate notice period and as to his/her rights to compensation and the level of compensation.
  • Consider fully any representations which the employee may have, at this stage, on the selection process, possible redundancy or alternatives to redundancy.
  • Arrange to meet with the employee in his/her representative(s) at a later time (we suggest around one week from the first meeting) to further discuss the possible redundancy and any alternative suggestions he/she may have.

Step 3

  • Meet with the employee a second time.
  • Ask the employee whether he/she has any further comments or suggestions on the proposed redundancy.
    Consider fully any comments which the employee or his/her representative(s) may have and discuss the options with them. Adjourn the meeting to consider any comments before you proceed with the next step.

Step 4

  • If you are satisfied, by this stage, that there is no other position available which the employee is prepared to accept and there is no reasonable alternative to redundancy, inform the employee that his position is redundant.
  • Confirm the terms of the employee’s redundancy with the employee, i.e. how much notice will be paid and whether any compensation will be offered.

Step 5

  • Follow up this meeting with a letter which records the redundancy. If you are contemplating making an employee redundant it is vital you seek legal advice to ensure that the correct process is followed. For more information or assistance about Stephen Corlett, Partner on (649) 979 2141 or .

DISCLAIMER

This information is intended to be general in nature. You are strongly recommended to seek your own legal advice in relation to the matters dealt with here.

© Brookfields Lawyers 2016 – All Rights Reserved

 

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