There are several stages to a redundancy dismissal to ensure that it is fair. If collective consultation rules apply because more than 20 or 100 employees are affected, then the consultation process must begin at least 30 days or 45 days before the first dismissal takes place.
However, many SME’s are unlikely to need to worry about collective consultation rules as they are not looking to dismiss that many employees. Where an employee is considering making fewer than 20 employees redundant, these are known as individual redundancies and there is no required statutory timescale to follow.
Whilst an employer has a discretion over how long the consultation process will take, they must still use their best efforts to ensure that the process is fair to avoid employees with more than 2 years’ continuous service bringing an unfair dismissal claim against them.
Case law authority has established that as an absolute minimum an individual redundancy consultation period should be at least 7 working days. This is considered to be an absolute minimum period and should only be adopted in the most straightforward of redundancy situations where only one or two employees are affected. As a matter of good practice an employer should give affected employees at least 2 working days’ notice of any consultation meetings and be able to show that they gave sufficient time to adequately consider and explore any alternative options or suggestions made by an employee to avoid their dismissal.
Finally, the longer the consultation period the less likely an employee will be able to successfully argue that an employer has pre-determined the outcome and already selected the employees to be made redundant.
For advice or further information on how to handle a redundancy dismissal, call Henry Doswell of Doswell Law Solicitors on 01233 722942. Alternatively, email Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Whilst every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary contained in this blog accurate and up to date, Henry Doswell takes no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it. The information and commentary in this blog does not constitute legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a lawyer about your case or matter.