There’s no denying that redundancy is never nice, but sometimes it’s just got to be done – we get that, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

To avoid any negative impacts – like unfair dismissal claims or allegations of discrimination – redundancies must be handled carefully, sensitively and legally – and that’s where we come in.

When it comes to HR & Employment Law, we’re the experts. We’ll guide you through the right process. We’ll help you handle sensitive conversations. We’ll aid an amicable separation. And we’ll be by your side if anything crops up along the way.

With us by your side, you can be confident that you won’t be faced with costly tribunal claims or workplace disruptions. To find out just how much we could help you, get in touch with our industry-leading experts today.


Get in touch to organise a free audit of your business.

Reasons for redundancy

Redundancies are implemented when employees are no longer needed to perform their job. This could be for a number of reasons, like:

  • Your business has/is changing what it does;
  • You’re carrying out your business activities in a different way, e.g. mechanising;
  • Your business is changing location; or
  • Your business is shutting down.

Redundancies can be either compulsory or voluntary. Before proceeding with any type of redundancy, we’d always recommend seeking legal advice.

For a redundancy to be legitimate, you must be able to demonstrate that the employee(s) job genuinely no longer exists.

Voluntary redundancy

Voluntary redundancy is when you ask employees if they’d like to put themselves forward for redundancy. If nobody or not enough of the right people put themselves forward, you may have to proceed with compulsory redundancy.

Anyone can step forward for voluntary redundancy – they’re only volunteering to put themselves in the ‘redundancy pot’, and you don’t have to make someone redundant just because they’ve volunteered.

Early retirement

Early retirement on enhanced pension terms can sometimes be an alternative to redundancy, and is used as an incentive for employees to retire early. To stay within the law, remember you cannot force any employee into early retirement.

Compulsory redundancy

As the name suggests, with compulsory redundancy, employees are required to leave the business – whether they would choose to or not.

If you’re faced with making compulsory redundancies, you must fairly select which employee(s) will be made redundant, making sure not to discriminate against anyone.

Fair grounds to select employees include:

  • Skills, qualification and aptitude;
  • Standard of work and/or performance;
  • Attendance record; and
  • Disciplinary

Some employers choose to select employees based on a ‘last in, first out’ motto. Although this is allowed (except in Northern Ireland), you must be able to justify your decision to select employees based on their length of service.

Length of service shouldn’t normally form the entirety of your selection criteria. Doing so could leave you open to allegations of age discrimination.

Unfair selection criteria

There are a number of reasons that shouldn’t be used to make an employee redundant, some examples include:

  • Pregnancy or maternity status;
  • Family – parental, paternity or adoption leave, for example;
  • Acting as an employee representative; or
  • Working on a part-time basis.

The redundancy process

Before making employees redundant, you should consult with them – this must be done individually and in some cases must also be done collectively. During the consultation process you should cover things like: why redundancies need to be made, and whether or not there are any alternatives to redundancy.

What’s a collective redundancy?

Collective redundancies are when you propose to dismiss 20 or more employees as redundant at one establishment within a 90-day period.

Unless there are wholly exceptional circumstances, you must begin your consultation process in good time. Below are the minimum requirements:

Number of employees to be made redundantMinimum consultation period
Between 20 and 9930 days before the first of the dismissals
100+ employees45 days before the first of the dismissals

If you’re making collective redundancies, you have a legal obligation to consult with recognised trade unions. If you don’t recognise any trade unions you must consult with elected workplace representatives.

Things to consider

Alternatives: you should try to avoid compulsory redundancies as best you can. A few alternatives include:

  • Offering voluntary redundancy;
  • Reducing or removing overtime;
  • Redeploying employees to other areas of the business;
  • Restricting recruitment;
  • Allowing employees to work flexibly; or
  • Eliminating your reliance on casual labour.

Cost: before going down the redundancy route, remember to consider the costs involved. To help give you a greater understanding of what employees are entitled to, we’ve created our very own redundancy calculator.

When it comes redundancies, as with any area of Employment Law, it’s not always that straightforward though. For a full understanding of your roles and responsibilities, get in touch with the team on 0345 844 1111 or

Garden leave

Garden leave’s relevant to any dismissal, but might be particularly useful in redundancy cases to minimise workplace disruption or prevent redundant employees from accessing confidential data, for example.

What is it?

Garden leave applies during notice periods, and is when an employee’s instructed not to work.

During garden leave, an employee’s duty of good faith towards the employer and any contractual duties, such as a duty of confidentiality, continue, and employees must receive the same remuneration and contractual benefits as they would do if they were in work.

How we can help

When it comes to redundancies, we’re the experts. We can help you by:

  • Determining whether or not redundancy is the right option;
  • Working out how many employees will be directly and indirectly effected;
  • Talking you through your compulsory and/or voluntary options;
  • Guiding you through the consultation process;
  • Walking you through your redundancy package responsibilities – including pay and pay in lieu of notice.

All our advice is unique to your business. We’ll carefully consider your business’ circumstances and come up with bespoke solutions to help you achieve your desired outcome – without the hassle.

Talk to the team on 0345 844 1111 or for help today.

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