Navigating the Road Map

Following the Prime Minister’s unveiling of the roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions in England many employer’s thoughts will be turning to how this could affect their organisation, and in turn, their possible staffing requirements.

With this in mind, we have put together a reminder regarding some common matters employers may find it helpful to be aware of.

Redundancy

If you are considering proposing redundancies in your organisation it’s important to bear in mind that in outline you will usually need to:

  • Have a genuine redundancy situation, such as a reduced need for employees to do a particular kind of work
  • Fairly identify the pool of employees from which redundancies will be made
  • Warn and individually consult with potentially affected employees before any decision regarding redundancy dismissals are made
  • Fairly select which employees will be made redundant (this is usually done using a skills selection matrix in which employees are scored against appropriate criteria)
  • Identify whether there is any alternative work

There are additional requirements that employers will need to meet if they are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less.

At Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd we understand the pressures and uncertainty employers can feel when considering making redundancies – whether you have had previous experience in this area or not. If you are considering proposing redundancies we are here to help and can provide practical advice from the planning stage and throughout the process. As redundancy can be a tricky area for employers, it’s important to seek advice on the facts of your case before taking any action.

The Furlough Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention (‘furlough’) Scheme remains available to assist employers in the short term. As you are likely aware, the scheme will be running until 30th April 2021.

It’s worth bearing in mind that employers can no longer recover wage costs via the furlough scheme if an employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period during the claim period.  Payments in lieu of notice and redundancy payments (statutory or contractual) are also not recoverable under the furlough scheme.

There have been calls for the furlough scheme to be extended after the end of April, whether this will happen remains to be seen. The government will be outlining the next stage in its ‘Plan for Jobs’, including further detail on economic support to protect jobs and livelihoods, in the Budget next week. We will keep you updated on developments.

If you wish to furlough an employee, please contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd for advice on the employment law aspects.

Changing Terms and Conditions

If you are considering changing employees’ terms and conditions, such as reducing or removing a contractual benefit, it’s important to bear in mind that this will usually require good, clear business reasons and consultation with employees with a view to seeking their agreement to the proposed change(s). Before taking steps to change any employee’s terms and conditions it’s important to seek advice on the facts of your case and the steps to follow.

If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are here to help.