The first wave of redundancies is well and truly here and it’s not pretty.
We’ve been conducting free consultations in these last few weeks, some of which have been with employees who have been made redundant with little or no process. This is not lawful and puts the employer business at high risk of a successful personal grievance for unjustified dismissal.
For employers considering redundancies, it is in your long term best interests to get some help and take a week or so to go through a proper process to protect your business from the risk of having to pay out lost wages, compensation for hurt and humiliation and a contribution to the employee’s legal costs, which all adds up – and we’re talking upwards of $10K (per employee), not including your own legal fees.
Getting it right
Before making any employees redundant, employers must (1) have a genuine business reason for disestablishing the role(s) and (2) the employer must follow a fair and reasonable process.
In the current climate, it’s likely that many employers have a “genuine business reason” to reorganise their workforce and make some roles redundant due to facing financial difficulties bought on by COVID-19.
It is the second element where we are seeing employers fail. Some are following no process at all; simply telling people there’s no work and giving notice, while others are following some form of process, which is either not robust enough or has clear elements of predetermination (i.e. the decision has already been made and they’re just going through the motions).
The government has some useful (and free!) information and templates for going through a change process.
How we can help
The Employment Team at Wakefields Lawyers can add value to these resources by:
We can also help you deal with any employee concerns or personal grievances that are raised as a result of any redundancies you have already made or redundancies you make in the future.
If you are an employer considering redundancies or an employee who has been made redundant, contact our Employment Law Service Coordinator today for a free consultation to understand your rights and responsibilities:
Employment Law – Amy Webster
Phone: 021 751 263