Redundancy and the work of the Employment Solicitor

The news is filled with stories of companies shrinking and having to make people redundant from their positions. Whilst it is sad that individuals lose their jobs companies making people redundant on the whole have to follow some specific guidelines before they can make an individual redundant.

One of the most difficult concepts is that in employment law and redundancy is understanding that redundancy revolves around the role a person carries out for a company not the individual themselves. The job a person does is what is being made redundant not the person. This is an important idea to understand and protects the individual from simply being removed from a company because their’ face does not fit’. Employment specialists will make this very clear to parties they work with the effect of this piece of employment law means if an individual is made redundant then the ‘role’ is being made redundant because it is no longer needed within a company and therefore cannot be filled by another person. Simply worded an individual cannot be made redundant by a company and then the company employs another person to carry out the same role as the person who was made redundant.

On larger scale redundancies where several hundred or thousands of roles are made redundant the workforce have very specific rights when being made redundant. In many cases the company must offer an alternative role within the organisation even though it may be on a different site. If the inevitable redundancy cannot be avoided then under employment law employees have a right to what is called a ‘consultation period’. This is an agreed period of time when all employees will be consulted by company representatives who will explain what is happening and what the available options are to individuals when they are made redundant. During the consultation period employees whose roles are being made redundant will be told how much redundancy they are entitled to.

Any employee whose role is being made redundant should really seek the help of an employment solicitor. An employment solicitor will be able to offer advice to the employee to ensure they are aware of the process and are themselves clear that the company is abiding by the law.

It clearly goes without saying that any company looking to make employees redundant should seek the services of an employment law specialist. Companies that do not follow to the letter the redundancy process can end up being taken to court by employees and can end up compensating ex- employees huge amounts of compensation.