• Key points when considering restructuring or redundancies

    Published: April 27 2020

    Despite the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme providing valuable financial support, some businesses unfortunately may have to face some difficult decisions in the coming weeks and be forced to consider restructuring or redundancies within their organisation.

    Options may include redeployment of staff to other roles, changes to the grading of posts, pay reductions or sadly, positions becoming redundant. The worst-case scenario is that some businesses may not be able to continue to trade.

    We have put together some practical guidance which we hope helps support organisations at this difficult time.

    Key points when considering restructuring or redundancies

    • Have a clear vision for change which should be aligned to the organisation’s vision, strategy and direction.
    • Make sure you know the correct legal position, for example, are changes permitted under contracts and if so, what sort of changes can be made?
    • Allow enough time for planning and implementation the restructure.
    • Think about whether you need to amend current roles and/or create new roles.
    • Get your senior managers on board as they play a significant role in communication to staff.
    • Communication and employee engagement are key. Ensure that communication is open and transparent through a variety of formats such as face to face meetings, workshops and written communication.
    • Inform and consult with staff and their union representatives and genuinely take on board their comments and feedback before making the final decision.
    • Think about the additional support that can be offered to your staff such as details of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or equivalent. Following a restructure, there may be CPD needs to be considered, such as training.
    • If redundancies are to be made, then ensure that consultation begins in sufficient time prior to notice of redundancy being given. Where 20 or more redundancies (in one location or part of the business) are proposed in a 90-day period, collective consultation rules apply. This means minimum consultation periods apply of 30 or 45 days depending on numbers. In reality these processes take longer as employee representatives normally need to be appointed, consultation is undertaken before notice can be given and sometimes the consultation process itself just takes longer. effective planning is essential.
    • Consider whether there are any suitable alternative roles prior to redundancy and give individuals reasonable time to look for alternative jobs and potentially arrange training.

    How we can help

    Case study: The scenario

    Following the coronavirus outbreak, a client in the food and drinks sector had made the unfortunate decision to close down. Kent HR was approached by the client to support them through the process. The key objective was to ensure that due process was being followed when considering making their staff redundant.

    Kent HR involvement

    Kent HR reviewed existing employment documentation and provided a clear step by step redundancy plan and highlighted any areas of concern. At each step guidance and advice was provided via phone and email which included any relevant documentation templates.

    Outcomes

    Clear advice, guidance and documentation regarding consultation meetings and terminations was provided to the client in a timely manner which resulted in the redundancy process going smoothly. In addition, support was provided to carry out redundancy calculations for some staff.

    Further support

    If you would like advice or guidance on manging changing including restructures and redundancies, HR strategy and planning, wellbeing and outplacements, then please contact us.

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