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Redundancy – follow a fair process

An expert in employment and HR legal issues is warning businesses to ensure they follow strict procedures when considering redundancies.

Emma Saunders, senior associate solicitor in the Employment & HR team at regional law firm Napthens, warns businesses can leave themselves open to claims of unfair dismissal.

She explained: “Employers should ensure that they document each stage of the process and provide sufficient notice of each meeting that takes place between management and staff relating to redundancy.

“In addition, a consistent approach should be taken throughout the entire process to avoid an argument of bias or a pre-meditated decision where it can appear as if a staff member’s future has been decided before the necessary processes have been followed.”

The warning comes after a high-profile case which saw Lloyds Pharmacy lose a claim for unfair dismissal after making an employee redundant.

The Employee Tribunal held that, although the scoring process and the business reasons for redundancy were fair and the employee would have been made redundant in any event, as a result of errors in procedure, the employee had been unfairly dismissed and she was awarded four weeks’ pay.

Emma said: “By failing to ensure a full and proper process is carried out when a redundancy becomes necessary, employers could face a claim for unfair dismissal.

“Businesses should regularly check that not only are their policies relevant and up-to-date with the law, but also that managers are trained to deal with such issues and are aware of their employees’ rights in a redundancy situation.”

Napthens Solicitors Employee Emma Saunders