Talking redundancy is something no employer or employee wishes to have to do. However, sometimes difficult conversations such as these may be necessary. Here, Katie Ash, Head of Employment Law at Banner Jones shares some insight on how to handle the topic in a professional and respectful way. 

Redundancy can be a difficult time for employers and employees alike. It’s important for employers to approach redundancy with sensitivity and a commitment to treating employees fairly, even in challenging circumstances.

Katie Ash
Katie Ash, Head of Employment Law at Bannr Jones

Consultation is a key part of any fair redundancy process. It is therefore vital that employers considering redundancies plan how they will consult their employees about any proposed redundancies at an early stage.

What is redundancy?
Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal and it arises when a role is no longer needed. This could be because part or all of your organisation is:

  • Closing
  • Changing the types or number of roles needed to do certain work
  • Changing location

If you have concerns about an employee’s conduct or performance, this is not a redundancy situation and you need to follow a disciplinary or capability procedure instead.

In addition, before even starting a redundancy consultation process, you should ensure that you have considered all available options to reduce or avoid redundancies.

What is the Consultation Process?
Consultation is simply when you talk and listen to affected employees about your proposals before making any decisions. You must do this before finalising any redundancies. Getting consultation right is key to ensuring that employees feel supported and listened to. If you do not hold genuine and meaningful consultation before making redundancies, employees could claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

The purpose of the consultation is to encourage a discussion with the employee about why changes are required, what you plan to do, how the redundancies can be avoided or their impact mitigated, and how you can support and arrange time off for affected employees.

An employee may have suggestions on how to avoid redundancies altogether, and these should be taken seriously as they may be helpful to the process.

“It is vital that employers considering redundancies plan how they will consult their employees about any proposed redundancies at an early stage.”

A good place to start when planning a consultation process is to check your workplace handbook or policies which relate to redundancy. It is also important to set out the pooling and scoring criteria at an early stage of the redundancy process so that employees (or their representatives) are involved in the discussions.

As an employer, you should keep communication channels open and be honest throughout the process. Clear and transparent communication helps to minimize uncertainty and anxiety among employees.

Our expert Employment Law team will guide your business through the redundancy process, advising you every step of the way. For more information visit

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