Commercial Law

Legal considerations when making small-scale redundancies

January 19, 2021

For any business faced with the prospect of making a small number of staff redundant, it’s never a simple decision to make. Which is why it is vital that, the moment that redundancies become a consideration, legal advice is sought. 


Every redundancy process is potentially stressful and must be shown to be fair and legal, but when there are less than 20 people facing redundancy, legal advice can mitigate the chances of unfair dismissal proceedings or bad will from departing employees. With any small-scale redundancy process it is important to remember that redundancy selection criteria and scores applied must be fair, transparent, consistently applied and non-discriminatory.


There cannot be any possibility that an employee could be deemed to have lost their job as a result of the 10 protected characteristics outlined in the Equalities Act 2010. An experienced employment law specialist can guide you through the legislation connected to equal rights and make sure that you are selecting candidates for redundancy fairly. 


It is also important for businesses who are looking to make a small number of their team redundant that they plan ahead and try to avoid the redundancy process where possible. This can include offering voluntary redundancies, early retirement, and flexible working, or by encouraging employees to take other roles within the business. If this process is successful, those staff members will need new employment contracts and some company policies may need to be altered or reviewed. At the same time, an employment solicitor can also assist in checking employment contracts and the periods worked by at-risk employees, ensuring that statutory redundancy payment calculations are accurate. 


Consulting with an employment solicitor before undertaking any redundancy consultations is also highly advisable and you may wish to also have them present whilst meeting with affected employees. Having legal guidance on hand can make the process smoother and can help relieve some stress or unanswered questions that the employees may have. 


Jarmans have an excellent team of employment solicitors who have worked with a variety of employers of all sizes during redundancy proceedings. If you are considering making fewer than 20 members of your workforce redundant make an appointment with our team to get the specialist legal advice you need to move forwards.