Tough times are facing many businesses as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the wind-down of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to begin from 1 August, with employers having to contribute gradually to furlough costs, many businesses are unfortunately having to make redundancies to survive.
We have detailed below a concise set of general questions that you can ask at a redundancy consultation meeting. However if you would like some more specific advice, we offer a 45-minute initial consultation via telephone with a senior solicitor to help address your redundancy situation and answer questions to support you for a fixed fee of £150 plus VAT.
In general, there are two types of redundancy situations:
- Unique redundancy; where you undertake a unique role which is no longer required.
- Pool redundancy; where there is a group of employees who undertake similar work and should therefore be placed in a “pool” with a selection criteria to be applied.
If you have been informed that you are at risk of redundancy and invited to a redundancy consultation meeting, you should ensure that you are aware of your companies’ policies, such as redundancy or equality and diversity policy, and ask whether you can bring a companion to the consultation meeting. Although you are not legally entitled to bring a companion, it is often offered by employers as a form of best practice.
The purpose of the redundancy consultation is to allow the employee to have the opportunity to have their say and questions answered. It is likely that you will have some specific questions already in mind. However, there are some general questions which you can ask regardless of the type of redundancy.
Questions to ask at redundancy consultation meeting
- What are the aims and objectives of the consultation exercise?
- What is the rationale of the proposed changes?
- Are there any proposed alternative positions available, and if so, are there job descriptions available?
- What are the other alternatives to redundancy that have been explored (e.g. a pay reduction, a reduction in working hours, a recruitment freeze, etc.)?
- Is an enhanced voluntary redundancy package available?
- What will the redundancy package consist of?
- When will I be informed of a final decision?
Questions to ask at a pool redundancy consultation meeting
If If you are part of a pool redundancy, you should also ask the following questions in addition to the ones listed above when meeting (either face to face or via video call) with your employer:
- How was the pool decided?
- How many are there in the pool?
- How many within the pool are the business looking to get rid of?
- What are the proposed selection criteria?