Employers should enter into a period of consultation with their employees, giving them information on why the redundancies are necessary and if there are any alternatives available. Employers who intend to make 20 or more employees redundant are under a duty to consult with employees with a view to reaching agreement on issues such as ways of avoiding dismissals. This applies even when the employees to be made redundant are volunteers. Employers who fail to adhere to the consultation requirements could face a claim for compensation known as a protective award.
It is important that employers recognise that employees have the right not to be unfairly selected for redundancy. To avoid this there must be an objective, fair and consistent criteria imposed and the employees should be able to access an appeals process.
Employees may be entitled to a statutory notice period and redundancy payment. Those employees selected for redundancy must be given at least one week’s notice if they have been employed between one month and two years and one additional week for each year of employment over two years up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
The statutory redundancy payments for employees who have been continuously employed for at least two years is half a week’s pay for each full year of service if aged under 22, one week’s pay if aged 22 to 40 and one and a half weeks’ pay for employees aged 41 or over.
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