Article Category - By Angus Edwards 12 August 2020

The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been wide-ranging, and many businesses are struggling to survive. Others are resizing their business and staffing to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Redundancies will be inevitable in many sectors and present a challenge for business leaders and displaced employees.

Here are the top 5 things you should be considering as a business owner:

  1. Is it a genuine redundancy - Do you no longer require the person's job to be performed by anyone because of changes in the operational requirements of your business?
  2. Could a change of hours or duties prevent the position being made redundant – Reducing hours, moving staff to other locations and changing duties are effective ways to reduce the wage bill and keep functioning during the tough times.  You want to be ready to ramp up services or production as soon as possible once it passes, so keeping the key staff and thinking now about who you will need in the future is key.  You want to keep staff engaged, and that might mean reducing hours or finding other work for them to do.
  3. Can the impacted employees be usefully redeployed? Depending on the size of your business this may not always be possible, however considering redeployment will ensure all options have been exhausted when making a position redundant. Think about the employee's skills, qualifications, experience, and location. 
  4. The consultation process - The requirement of consultation is never to be treated as a mere formality, the requirement to discuss proposed changes and consult about these changes should be in the forefront throughout this process. Consultation should happen before a decision has been made to allow for all options to be explored collaboratively.
  5. Alternatives to consider – Depending on the size and nature of your business there really are a lot of alternatives to consider, and our expert employment law team can help you navigate this process for your business.

Unfortunately, we have seen some employers taking short cuts when it comes to making positions redundant. The challenge for business leaders is to balance the ongoing viability of your business and ensure you have the right people in the right roles at the right time. There isn't a one size fits all approach, and we will help guide you through all your options. For expert employment law advice, we’re here to help on 1800 650 656.

Angus Edwards | Principal