With the UK economy facing significant economic challenges, it’s no surprise that an ACAS study found that nearly 1 in 5 employers are expecting to make redundancies over the next year. And whether or not redundancies are on the horizon for your SME, it’s important to know the law. That’s why this post looks into the length of the redundancy consultation period for UK employees and the redundancy notice period. Here, we discuss the redundancy consultation period.
A redundancy consultation period is the time allocated for team conversations and meetings before formally agreeing to the redundancies. It is important to note that the redundancy consultation period is part of a larger redundancy process.
Within this time frame it’s important for you and your team to discuss:
If you’re making more than 20 people redundant within a 90-day period, then you have a statutory duty to hold collective consultations with your staff.
Even though there currently aren’t any set rules for teams below 20, it’s wise to hold consultations and understand your people.
It’s important to speak to your team. Communicating during the redundancy-consultation period is important because:
1. Everyone deserves to know where they stand.
2. If things do turn sour, you could risk appearing unfair or discriminatory in front of an employment tribunal. For example, if a claimant can prove you failed to consult them during a period before their redundancy, you’re then at risk for a hefty tribunal fine.
It’s typical best practice to hold a collective consultation followed by individual meetings with affected staff.
For 20-99 redundancies
If a company needs to make 20 to 99 employees redundant, the employer must allow for a minimum 30-day consultation period.
For 100+ redundancies
For 100 redundancies or more, this jumps to 45 days prior to dismissal.
For less than 20 redundancies
If you’re a small business looking to make less than 20 people redundant, there’s no minimum time for a consultation. However, the law says it must be considered “meaningful” or the redundancy could be considered unfair.
20+ redundancies – important info
As well as adhering to the minimum periods, you’ll need to notify the Redundancy Payments Service before any consultation starts.
You’ll also need to consult with trade union reps, or elected employee representatives if your staff don’t belong to a trade union.
Once a consultation has taken place, you’ll need to provide redundancy notice. The length of the redundancy notice period depends on how long someone has worked for the company.
It is important that employers remember to provide termination notices, in which, they’ll need to clearly state the agreed leaving date and provide redundancy notice once the consultation period is complete.
The periods outlined above are the statutory minimum an employer must give to be compliant by law, so that they can increase the redundancy notice period should they wish.
They’ll also need to pay those you are making redundant throughout their notice period. This can be offered as pay in lieu of notice if this is included in their terms of employment.
We hope that you have found this post on The Redundancy Consultation Period useful. As experts in redundancy and restructuring, we can provide specialist employment law advice to ensure that any changes you wish to make to your business are done in the most efficient and effective way possible. Contact us here to learn more.