ACAS has joined forces with the TUC and CBI to issue a statement on how best to handle redundancies stemming from the Covid pandemic. They recognise that redundancies may be unavoidable for some businesses but ask employers to try all possible alternatives first. Ideas include more part time working, cuts to overtime, finding alternative roles for some staff and retraining others. They ask employers to consider the following guidance and do what they can to look after their people as well as their business:
Do it openly: following collective consultation requirements is key but early open discussions about potential redundancies is better for everyone.
Do it thoroughly: make sure that the people carrying out your redundancy process have been trained in how to handle it properly. They need to know the processes they must follow and the legal hoops they need to jump through. Everyone involved needs information and guidance, so they can pass that information onto the affected employees.
Do it genuinely: don’t just go through the motions. Consultation involves genuinely listening to employee and union views and being open to alternatives they put forward. Give feedback if you reject their ideas so they understand why.
Do it fairly: as with any process, following a fair procedure is key and any process must be free of discrimination
Do it with dignity: losing your job can be a devastating and traumatic experience. How an employer approaches redundancy can change the way someone views both their position and the company. Be kind in your conversations and correspondence, not only for the benefit of employees but in case you want to rehire them in future.
The ACAS guide to redundancy can be found at https://www.acas.org.uk/redundancy