As we have recently seen with the P&O mass sackings, there are steps that employers must take to ensure they are being fully compliant with employment law. A redundancy can have a life-changing impact on an employee, so it is important to keep them informed and supported.
The consultation phase of redundancy includes employers discussing the potential redundancies with employees. During which they will be able to discuss redundancy pay, the chance of deployment, and to listen to and process any recommendations by employees to avoid redundancies in a reasonable manner. It is not uncommon for employees to challenge their employer here ask questions such as why it is necessary and to be placed on furlough.
Consultation also differs based on the number of employees being made redundant. If a company is making more than 20 employees redundant, they will need to follow the law on collective consultation. An employer will usually initiate consultation with representatives. The general rule of thumb is the same; there should be genuine discussion regarding ways to avoid redundancies, mitigating the affects, and supporting employees throughout.
If we look at the result of not consulting, it can be financially and reputation-ally catastrophic for a company, especially a company of P&O’s size. To simply hold a meeting and play a pre-recorded video to tell employees they are being made redundant falls completely short of the mark. This sounds almost synonymous with the stories that make headlines such as being sacked over email, and it is unacceptable. On the other hand, for the employees to be told they are being made redundant in this way is insensitive and shows a serious lack of care. If you require any advice, please contact us.