The social media giants Meta and Twitter have both announced plans that will see thousands of staff losing their jobs following a ‘slow down’.
If your business is experiencing difficult times, you too may be considering whether to make redundancies. Whilst you probably won’t be doing so on anything like the scale of Meta and Twitter, that doesn’t mean you won’t be caught by the special rules on collective redundancies.
Never heard of this before? No problem, we’ve given collective redundancies the Twitter ‘Tweetment’ – here’s eight things you need to know – each in 280 characters or less!
- Special collective redundancy obligations are triggered where an employer is proposing to make 20 or more redundancies at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less. These are additional to the usual rules of ‘redundancy fairness’.
- Appropriate representatives of ‘affected employees’ must usually be consulted. Don’t recognise a trade union? Hold an appropriate election to get employee representatives specifically appointed for consultation purposes.
- Prescribed information is required to be given to the appropriate representatives in writing (e.g proposed numbers of redundancies, business reasons, selection method, timescale), it forms the basis of consultation.
- Collective consultation must as a minimum cover certain matters (e.g ways of avoiding/reducing dismissals) and start ‘in good time’. Consult with an open mind and whilst proposals are still at a formative stage.
- Minimum time periods apply. Where 20-99 redundancies are proposed consultation must begin at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect (it’s 45 days where 100 or more redundancies are proposed).
- A failure to meet your collective redundancy consultation obligations alone can lead to a complaint to an employment tribunal. If this succeeds, you may have to pay up to 90 days full pay for each affected employee.
- Individual consultation with employees is also likely to be required in many cases for redundancy dismissals to be fair.
- You must notify BEIS of the proposed redundancies within the required timescale using the “HR1 form”. Failure to notify is a criminal offence.
Remember irrespective of how many redundancies you may be considering proposing it’s important to ensure that they are fair, appropriate and non-discriminatory. Want to know more about making redundancies generally? Have a look at these important lessons and take note of our answers to five important questions our clients always ask.
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