As the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme winds down, many employers are now faced with tough decisions about staffing and looking at redundancy. We asked Bespoke HR founder Alison King about the options available to business owners…

I can’t afford to bring my staff back from furlough, what are my options?

There are a variety of options to consider when looking at reducing costs, these might be asking your team to consider reduction in pay or hours to help retain jobs and keep the business going. If these options have been considered but aren’t viable then you might need consider looking at redundancies.

I’ve never had to make redundancies before, where do I start?

We are currently supporting a number of clients who are in industries rarely touched by economic uncertainty and we appreciate that this might be a new process for many. Typically we would work with businesses to help understand what costs saving would need to be achieves and take them through each stage of the redundancy process providing focused support both in the preparation and implementation stages, including support at meetings with employees.

What should I consider when starting the process?

We believe that planning is key. With our clients for example, we work with them to design a sustainable organisational structure. We would then plan how to communicate with their team, how to make a fair selection of who may be made redundant, how to undertake a meaningful consultation and ensure that they have all the relevant paperwork. You can also read our guide to the redundancy process blog.

What are the legal requirements?

The number of proposed redundancies will determine the min length of the consultation period, for example if the number of redundancies is between 20 to 99 consultation must start at least 30 days before any dismissals take effect. You will also need to fairly select those who might be made redundancy and demonstrate a meaningful consultation with employees which should involve a number of individual meetings. There are also requirements regarding statutory redundancy pay and we can work with you to ensure that the calculations are correct and all the paperwork is in place.

Can I re-hire staff if the business picks up, despite making them redundant?

Yes, you can rehire staff if the business picks up but you would might be challenged if you re-hired some staff and not others.

Is there any government support available to avoid a redundancy situation?

Business continuity grants are available as part of the government’s business support during the pandemic, check the government website for eligibility and for more detail.

Do you have any further questions around redundancy? Get in touch directly or via our social media channels and we would be happy to advise. We are also offering 15 mins of free HR advice so if you’ve got a question book a slot and we would happy to help. You can also read our blog on Coronavirus and redundancy.