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Upcoming redundancy procedure changes explained

The redundancy procedure currently in place is set to change on 6 April 2013, which will see alterations made to the regulations surrounding larger scale redundancies.

Announced by Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson on 18 December 2012, she said: “We have listened to stakeholders and there is a strong argument for shortening the minimum period which is backed up by hard evidence.”

What changes are being made?

The following changes to the redundancy procedure will soon be put into action:

    • The consultation period for redundancies of 100 or more employees will reduce from 100 days to 45 days.
    • Fixed-term contracts coming to a natural end won’t be included in the obligation for collective redundancies consultation.
    • A new ACAS non-statutory code of practice will be launched, addressing issues surrounding collective redundancies consultation.

Why is the redundancy procedure being altered?

Jo Swinson has suggested that the move is aimed at supporting both workers and businesses, so that employees are properly engaged in decisions affecting their future, as they benefit from an improved, clearer consultation period. Meanwhile, employers are set to have greater flexibility to restructure, so they can avoid costly and time-consuming delays in any reorganisation plans.

What to remember

While changes are being made to the redundancy procedure, companies should remember that they are still legally obliged to provide people with an individual consultation or confer with an appropriate representative. Failing to provide an employee who may be made redundant with an advanced warning can result in an unfair dismissal claim being made against your business.

If you want further information about the redundancy consultation period changes or are looking for legal support throughout a redundancy procedure, contact Linder Myers employment law solicitors at 0844 984 6444.

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