What is a collective redundancy and what are employers’ obligations?

Redundancies can be a confusing process for many employers as there are specific legal requirements that must be followed, especially large-scale redundancies. If approached poorly, redundancies can lead to legal difficulties.

This blog will outline how to address a collective redundancy and what the employer’s obligations are. On a general basis, redundancy should always be a fair, honest and transparent process. Employers should consider employees suggestions and thoughts with an open mind, doing so can greatly reduce any legal risks. Not only that but following a well thought out and fair process will ensure you keep your most talented employees whilst reducing your long-term costs.

What are collective redundancies?

In the event that you are intending to make 20 or more people redundant from one establishment within a 90-day period then you must follow additional collective consultation rules.

Collective redundancies normally happen when a business needs to restructure or because the business is closing, because of the large scale of employees involved there are specific rules to follow.

The process;

Before the consultation process starts, Section 193 (1) and (2) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 provides that an employer must inform the Government’s Redundancy Payment Service in advance, where the intention is to make more than 20 people redundant.

Consultation process; Timings

There are also particular timing obligations for collective consultancy;

  • You must begin consultation at least 30 days before giving the first redundancy notice where there are less than 100 employees at risk.
  • Where there are more than 100 employees at risk, you must begin consultation at least 45 days before giving the first redundancy notice.

There is no statutory time limit for how long the consultation period should last, it is likely to vary depending on the size of the organisation and the number of proposed redundancies but they must comply with the statutory minimum as set out above.

Who do employers consult with?

As an employer, if the employees are members of a trade union then the trade union representative must be consulted on behalf of the employees. Where there is no union the employees will have to elect employee representatives, who employers will consult with during the course of the consultation.

If employees, having a genuine opportunity to do so, fail to elect representatives, the employer may provide information to the employees directly on an individual basis.

The consultations; what should you discuss? 

Consultation meetings should be thought of as a process to reach an agreement. The employer and employees should discuss ways to avoid redundancies by suggesting alternative work or changing hours or pay.

Employers should not go into a consultation process having already decided on redundancy dismissals. The meetings should be an opportunity for discussion and should be approached with an open mind.

Employers should not give staff notice of dismissal prior to the conclusion of consultations, as this might be taken as an indication that the consultations are merely a procedural requirement.

The information that an employer should provide during the consultations includes;

  1. The reasons for the redundancy
  2. The method that will be used to select the employees for redundancy
  3. The number of employees that are to be made redundant
  4. Information regarding the redundancy pay and how it will be calculated.
  5. The likely time period of the redundancy process and what employees should expect.

What will happen if employers fail to consult or conduct a fair redundancy

Failure to comply with the statutory requirements of collective consultation may result in fines and Tribunal claims for a protective award for each employee (this applies regardless of the length of service and is up to a value of 90 days’ pay per employee.)

The employees who have been affected can bring a claim for unfair dismissal and/ or protective award with 3 months from the effective date of termination.

Other resources;

Our MD Jodie Hill has done some videos on her Youtube Channel providing information on redundancy when the employee is shielding and redundancy involving pregnant employees or employees on maternity leave. Jodie has also done a video highlighting ways to cut staff costs and how to avoid redundancies where possible as redundancies should be the last resort.

For further advice and guidance to ensure you get the redundancy process right from the start to avoid legal difficulties, we can work with you as your HR Business Partner. We’ll be there to give you peace of mind and give you support when you need it. Our HR packages offer flexibility so that we can be there for a one-off HR or employment law issue or we can work closely with you offering on-going support when needed. This includes unlimited use of our 24/7 helpline for any employment law or HR issues which may arise. For more information click here to watch a video.

If you have any enquiries please send an email to enquiries@thrivelaw.co.uk.

Disclaimer: Please note that this blog does not amount to legal advice, please send us an email to be advised on your matter.

Written by Deborah Norbury

Related Articles

Sleep and mental health

The Loneliness Epidemic

Face Coverings in the Workplace: What are the Rules?

Mental Health in Lockdown: What are people concerned about? By Hebe Quinney

Furlough Bonus Scheme: What is it, and What’s the Point?

Unshielding Employees – What are their Rights?

The impact of COVID-19 on students and the new scheme.

Women through the cracks: Sex discrimination

Do you need to offer an appeal in redundancy dismissal situations?

What is a collective redundancy and what are employers’ obligations?

Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Update: Spanish Quarantine: What Does This Mean For Employers and Employees?

Indirect Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented

Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Update: Employment Status. Hairdresser wins landmark case.

Maternity Discrimination and Flexible Furlough

Women Through the Cracks

SSP and Travel

June’s Top 10 FAQ’s

Hill v Lloyds Bank: Discrimination and Mental Health

Pride month – LGBT legal leaders

Test and Trace update

Furlough Fraud

Commission under Furlough

Marital Discrimination: What Happens when Your Employees Split?

Disability & Shielding

Future of Furlough

Returning to work safely following Covid-19

A Four Day Week – Is It The Future?

Utilising Technology for Mental Health Support during Covid-19

#BLACKLIVESMATTER – HR professionals and their role in tackling racism, and what we are doing at Thrive Law

The importance of Redundancy Consultation – the problem with Jamie’s Italian

LGBTQ+ Figures in the Legal Sector

Calculating notice pay for employees on furlough

The Future of Furlough

Test and Trace: Employer’s Obligations

Life in Lockdown: How it has impacted the #ThriveTribe

Life in Lockdown: The Distressing Rise in Domestic Abuse and How Employers Can Help

Life in Lockdown: The Impact of Grief and Employees’ Rights

Managing my Mental Health as a Mother

Life in Lockdown: NHS Staff and Possible PTSD After COVID-19

Health Care Workers and PPE Concerns: What are Their Duties and How Are They Protected?

The effect of lockdown on diversity in the workplace

Observing Ramadan during Lockdown

Emergency Volunteering Leave

Dealing with redundancy during COVID-19

Health and safety dismissals: An employee’s right to stay safe during a pandemic

Unfurloughing employees

Raising concerns amid Covid-19: Are Employees Protected?

Maintaining your teams Mental Wellbeing (whilst working from home/Furlough)

Workplace Safety: 10 Important Steps to Making Your Workplace Safer for Employees

Airline crew launch “Project Wingman”

Statutory Sick Pay and Coronavirus

Why is sleep so important?

Pregnancy, Maternity and Furlough

Flexible working – is it possible in a law firm?

The superhero firms helping out in the coronavirus crisis

What are the Signs of Stress?

Statutory Duties owed by a Director of a Company; and How Do They Work with Furlough?

A barristers analysis of holiday pay and furlough

Coronavirus and Apprenticeships

Furlough and Annual Leave: How does it work?

Vulnerable and shielded employees; what are your rights?

The Coronavirus Act 2020

Workplace Accessibility: Is your workplace accessible to people with disabilities?

Coronavirus – FAQ’s

In the News: Coronavirus Employer obligations

UK in Lockdown – What You Need to Know

The F Word – Furlough

Short Time and Layoffs

School Closures

The Impact of Coronavirus on Employment – The Home Working Revolution

How to Prepare for a Remote Workforce

Coronavirus is contagious, but panic is too

What are the different types of Whistleblowing?

The Coronavirus and Flexible Working – What Your Organisation Can Do

Key Employment Law Changes in 2020

IR35 Changes – What do you need to know?

In the Media: Fairhall v University Hospital of North Tees & Hartlepool Foundation Trust

There’s a Storm Coming: Do You Have an Adverse Weather Policy for Employees?

May Bank Holiday Change Blog- All Change for 2020!

LGBT+ History Month

Can you sack someone who works in a supermarket and refuses to handle money?

In The News: Bereavement Leave

The Thrive Tribe’s Christmas Holiday

In The News: Discrimination and Equal Pay

Keep Informed: Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Brexit – What will the Withdrawal Bill Mean for Employment Rights?

Bring Your Dog to Work – For More Than Just a Day?

In the News: Hangover Days

Political Discourse and Voting at Work: What are Employees’ Rights?

Vegetarianism & Veganism – Are they protected as Philosophical Beliefs?

Diversity: More than just Box-Ticking and Policies

Drugs and Alcohol Policy: Support or Discipline?

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

Yorkshire Legal Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Award

Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business: Social Mobility Award

Topic UK Magazine October 2019

Calling Time on the Booze Culture

Mental health discrimination is limiting the opportunities in the workplace for those who have served in the armed forces

How to Thrive – Top tips to reduce stress in your organisation

Asda’s Employment Contract Changes: Fair or Foolish?

Keep Informed: MacDonald’s CEO dismissed for relationship at work

How to Handle Allergies in the Workplace

Menopause in the Workplace

The 4 Day Week Report

Feeling SAD?

Keep Informed: New case criticises workplace “banter” and awards £54,000 for race and sexual orientation discrimination

Surviving or Thriving?

Keep Informed: Women and Equalities Committee proposes changes to enforcement of discrimination rights

The Good Work Plan

Working 9 to 5, 4 Days a Week…?

Is your organisation ready for Generation Z?

Thriving In The Workplace and the #OneMind Petition

Dyslexia in the Workplace

Overpayments and Deductions from wages

The UK’s increasingly diabetic workforce

TheBusinessDesk: Further expansion for law firm; Promotions at engineering specialist; and more

LGBTQIA+ in the Workplace

Eid in the Workplace

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Magazine – 11th April 2019

Recruiting Times – 12th February 2019 Employment contracts: What to check for before accepting the job

HR News – 6th February 2019 Over half of working Brits have accepted a job offer without checking the contract first.

Yorkshire Legal News – Thrive Law continues rapid growth – 12th November 2018

BR Online: Employee wellbeing and human capital – November 2018

MMB Magazine – 5 November 2018

The Telegraph- Business 24 October 2018

H & N Magazine 3 October 2018

South Leeds Life 3 October 2018

The Yorkshire Post 10 October 2018

Article in People Management- “Employers must do more to tackle male ‘stigma’ around shared parental leave” – 30th July

The Business Desk- “Independent law firm launches in Yorkshire”– July 16th

Interview with Ascension Club Leeds- July 11th

Law Society Gazette – 3rd May 2018

Stylist Magazine – 21st May

Yorkshire Post – 2 May 2018 – Greg Wright The Case for introducing mental health first aiders at work

What Is YOUR Workplace Doing for Ramadan?

April Updates in Employment Law

Thoughts On “Gagging Orders”

Time to Talk Day 2019

Thrive’s round up of 2018!

To talk or not to talk?

Why employers should exercise caution when using NDAs

Being your true self at work boosts mental wellbeing and performance

How to spot and eliminate risks of office workplace accidents

Why The Best Investment Is In Your Mental Health

Supporting LGBT+ Mental Health in the Workplace

What your employer needs to know when your child has a mental health illness – guest blog

The Do’s And Don’t For A Happy Employee – Guest Blog

HR leading the way into GDPR compliance for businesses

Dealing with stress in the workplace

Welcome to our new website and blog!

What is Constructive Dismissal?