Effective Redundancy Planning for Employers



Redundancy refers to the type of dismissal when a role is no longer needed. A role may become redundant when an employer needs to reduce their workforce because of factors such as organisational restructuring or closure, financial difficulties, or changes in business operations.

In the UK, redundancy is governed by specific regulations designed to balance the rights of employees with the operational needs of employers.

When managing redundancies, employers in the UK must adhere to specific legal obligations, including requirements for a fair selection process, appropriate consultation periods, and the provision of statutory redundancy pay and notice for eligible employees to avoid legal repercussions.

In this comprehensive guide for employers, we set out the legal requirements that have to be followed when making workers redundant, with practical advice on how to manage a redundancy process in a fair and lawful manner to reduce the risk of tribunal claims.


Section A: Redundancy Legal Obligations and Compliance


The Employment Rights Act 1996 and subsequent legislation set out the legal framework for redundancy in the UK, affording employees certain rights and protections during the redundancy process while also imposing specific obligations on employers and employees.

Fundamentally, the Act aims to ensure that employers follow a fair and transparent process when making employees redundant, aiming to mitigate the impact on individuals while supporting organisational changes.

The key obligations on employers when making workers redundant are:


1. Fair Selection Process


Employers must use objective criteria to select employees for redundancy, avoiding any form of discrimination. This includes considering factors such as skills, performance, and attendance records.

Selection criteria must be based on objective factors such as skills, performance metrics, attendance records, qualifications and potentially on last-in, first-out status. This allows employers to demonstrate that their decisions are grounded in legitimate business needs rather than personal bias or favouritism.

The chosen criteria should be clearly defined and consistently applied across all affected employees to ensure fairness.

Employers also have to avoid any form of discrimination during the redundancy selection process by ensuring that their criteria and decision-making processes do not inadvertently disadvantage employees belonging to any protected group. Discrimination can occur based on protected characteristics such as age, gender, race, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.


2. Consultation


Employers are required to consult with employees who are at risk of redundancy. This involves providing information about the reasons for redundancy, the selection process, and any alternatives to redundancy.


3. Notification


In cases of large-scale redundancies, employers must notify the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) in advance. This is known as submitting an HR1 form and is required for redundancies involving 20 or more employees.


4. Redundancy Pay & Notice Periods


Eligible employees are entitled to statutory redundancy pay, calculated based on their age, length of service, and weekly pay. The employer also has a legal obligation to provide a notice period before terminating the employee’s contract due to redundancy. This notice period is determined by the statutory redundancy notice periods set by law.


5. Support for Employees


Providing support such as outplacement services, counselling, and assistance with job searches is recommended to help affected employees transition smoothly.


Section B: Planning for Redundancy


Redundancy is a measure of last resort.

Employers have to show that they have considered other suitable alternative courses of action to avoid making people redundant. This requires employers to undertake an initial planning phase to identify the necessity for redundancy, explore alternatives, create a comprehensive redundancy plan, and communicate the process clearly to employees.


1. Identifying the Need for Redundancy


The first step in planning for redundancy is to establish that redundancies are unavoidable.

Employers should conduct a thorough analysis of the business’s financial situation, organisational structure, and future projections.

Redundancies are lawful only where certain, relatively narrow conditions apply. This can only be where an employer has ceased or intends to cease, to carry on the business for the purpose for which the employee was employed, where there will be a relocation of the place of business from the place where the employee was employed; or where an employer requires fewer employees to carry out existing work, or there is less work for existing employees.

Employers cannot, for example, use the redundancy process to terminate employment contracts because of misconduct or poor performance.


2. Alternatives to Redundancy


Before proceeding with redundancies, employers should consider viable alternatives to avoid the negative impact on employees and the business.

Depending on the circumstances, alternatives to redundancy may include:


a. Reducing working hours: Implementing part-time work or job sharing.

b. Voluntary redundancy: Offering employees the option to volunteer for redundancy, often with enhanced packages.

c. Natural attrition: Not filling vacancies that arise from retirements or resignations.

d. Retraining and redeployment: Training employees for new roles within the organisation.

e. Salary reductions or unpaid leave: Temporarily reducing wages or offering unpaid leave to cut costs.


Exploring these alternatives can help mitigate the need for compulsory redundancies and demonstrate the employer’s commitment to supporting their workforce.

Read our full guide to alternatives to redundancy here.


3. Creating a Redundancy Plan


A comprehensive redundancy plan is essential to manage the process effectively and ensure compliance with legal obligations. Key components of a redundancy plan include:


a. Objective Criteria: Establish clear, fair, and objective criteria for selecting employees for redundancy. This could include factors such as skills, performance, and length of service.

b. Timeline: Develop a detailed timeline for the redundancy process, including key milestones such as consultation periods, selection processes, and notice periods.

c. Documentation: Prepare all necessary documentation, including consultation letters, redundancy notices, and severance agreements. Ensure that all records are accurate and up-to-date.

d. Support Measures: Outline the support measures that will be provided to affected employees, such as outplacement services, counselling, and financial advice.

e. Legal Compliance: Ensure the plan complies with all relevant UK laws and regulations, including consultation requirements, notice periods, and redundancy pay.


4. Compulsory or Voluntary Redundancy


Voluntary and compulsory redundancies represent distinct approaches to reducing a workforce, each suited to different circumstances and organisational needs.

Voluntary redundancy refers to when employers invite employees to volunteer for redundancy packages. This approach is typically offered during times of organisational restructuring or downsizing, where the employer seeks to reduce the workforce voluntarily rather than through mandatory measures. Employers may incentivise voluntary redundancy with enhanced severance packages, such as additional redundancy pay, extended notice periods, or support for job search and retraining.

Voluntary redundancy is often beneficial in scenarios where the organisation aims to reduce costs or reshape its workforce without imposing involuntary job losses. It can be particularly useful when specific departments or roles are targeted for downsizing, allowing employees who may already be considering leaving the opportunity to depart with a financial cushion. Offering voluntary redundancy can also help mitigate negative impacts on morale and productivity by empowering employees with a degree of control over their career paths during uncertain times.

Compulsory redundancy, on the other hand, involves selecting employees for redundancy without their consent. This approach is typically considered when voluntary measures fail to achieve the necessary workforce reduction or when specific skills or roles become redundant due to business needs. Employers must follow strict legal procedures, including consultation requirements and fair selection criteria based on objective factors such as skills, performance, and attendance records.

Compulsory redundancy should be considered as a last resort when voluntary measures are insufficient or impractical. It may be necessary in situations where the organisation faces severe financial difficulties, operational restructuring, or a fundamental change in business direction that requires a reduction in workforce numbers. Employers must ensure compliance with legal obligations and provide affected employees with appropriate notice periods and statutory redundancy pay.

Choosing between voluntary and compulsory redundancy depends on the organisation’s specific circumstances, strategic objectives, and the need to balance legal requirements with maintaining positive employee relations.

Employers should carefully assess the situation, consult with employees or their representatives where applicable, and seek legal advice to determine the most appropriate approach to managing workforce reductions effectively while minimising disruption and maintaining fairness.


5. Communicating the Process to Employees


Employers are required to notify all employees who are potentially at risk of redundancy, including those absent from work due to maternity or sickness leave.

Beyond the initial notification, clear and compassionate communication throughout the redundancy process helps to maintain trust and morale and alleviate stress and pressure on those affected.

Key steps in communicating the process to employees include:


a. Initial Announcement: Hold a meeting with all employees to inform them of the potential redundancies. Provide a clear explanation of the reasons behind the decision and the steps that will be taken.

b. Individual Meetings: Arrange one-on-one meetings with affected employees to discuss their specific situation, provide support, and answer any questions they may have.

c. Consultation Process: Engage in a formal consultation process with employees or their representatives, providing all necessary information and exploring any suggestions or alternatives they propose.

d. Ongoing Communication: Maintain regular communication with all employees throughout the process. Provide updates on the progress of the redundancy process, respond to any concerns, and offer reassurance where possible.

e. Support and Resources: Provide affected employees with access to support and resources, such as job search assistance, training opportunities, and emotional support.


Section C: Redundancy Selection Criteria


Establishing clear selection criteria not only helps to maintain trust and morale among employees but also ensures compliance with legal requirements, reducing the risk of disputes and claims of unfair dismissal.

Read our full guide to developing fair redundancy selection criteria here.


1. Fair and Transparent Selection Process


Employers must ensure that all redundancy selection decisions are based on objective criteria and that the process is conducted in a consistent and unbiased manner.

You should first develop clear, objective criteria for selecting employees for redundancy. These criteria should be relevant to the business’s needs and applied consistently across all affected employees.

Engage in meaningful consultation with employees or their representatives, explaining the selection criteria and how they will be applied. Ensure that employees have the opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns.

Contemporaneous record-keeping is vitally important. Maintain detailed records of the selection process, including the criteria used, how decisions were made, and any discussions or consultations that took place. This documentation can help demonstrate fairness and transparency if the process is later challenged.


2. Objective Criteria Examples


Using objective criteria for redundancy selection helps to ensure that decisions are based on measurable and relevant factors rather than personal bias or subjective judgement.

Employers should also ensure that the criteria chosen are relevant to the needs of the business and that they are applied consistently to all employees being considered for redundancy.

Examples of objective criteria include:


a. Skills and Qualifications: Evaluating employees based on their skills, qualifications, and competencies relevant to the business’s current and future needs.

b. Performance: Assessing employees’ performance based on objective measures such as performance reviews, productivity metrics, and achievement of targets.

c. Attendance and Disciplinary Records: Considering employees’ attendance records and any history of disciplinary actions, provided these records are relevant and up-to-date.

d. Length of Service: Taking into account the length of time employees have been with the organisation, although this should not be the sole criterion to avoid indirect discrimination.

e. Adaptability and Flexibility: Assessing employees’ ability to adapt to changes in the workplace and their willingness to take on new roles or responsibilities.


3. Avoiding Discrimination


To avoid discrimination in the redundancy selection process, employers must ensure that their criteria and procedures do not unfairly disadvantage any particular group of employees.

Key strategies for avoiding discrimination include:


a. Equality and Diversity Training: Provide training for managers and decision-makers on equality and diversity, ensuring they understand their legal obligations and the importance of avoiding bias.

b. Reviewing Selection Criteria: Regularly review the selection criteria to ensure they do not indirectly discriminate against any group of employees, such as those based on age, gender, race, disability, or other protected characteristics.

c. Reasonable Adjustments: Make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities to ensure they are not unfairly disadvantaged in the selection process. This could include adjusting performance targets or providing additional support.

d. Consistent Application: Apply the selection criteria consistently to all employees, ensuring that the process is transparent and based on objective evidence.

e. Consultation with Representatives: Engage with employee representatives or trade unions during the consultation process to help identify any potential issues of discrimination and address them promptly.


Section D: Redundancy Consultation Process


Consultation is a mandatory stage in a lawful redundancy process, serving a number of purposes.

Consultation should provide an opportunity for employers to communicate openly with employees about the redundancy process and provide employees with a platform to voice their concerns and suggestions. Effective consultation can also help identify alternatives to redundancy, potentially saving jobs and maintaining employee morale.

Consultation must be meaningful and genuine, or the employer risks claims for unfair dismissal.


1. Consultation Process


The consultation process typically involves several key steps:


a. Preparation: Before beginning the consultation, employers should prepare by gathering all relevant information, including the reasons for redundancy, the number of employees affected, and any proposed selection criteria.

b. Initial Announcement: Inform all employees of the potential redundancies, explaining the reasons behind the decision and outlining the consultation process. This initial announcement should be made in a group setting to ensure that all employees receive the same information.

c. Providing Information: Supply employees with detailed information about the redundancy proposals, including the reasons for redundancy, the number of employees affected, and the proposed selection criteria. This information should be provided in writing.

d. Engaging in Consultation: Conduct formal consultation meetings with employees or their representatives. During these meetings, employers should listen to employees’ concerns, answer questions, and consider any suggestions or alternatives to redundancy.

e. Considering Alternatives: Explore any alternatives to redundancy proposed by employees during the consultation process. This might include redeployment, retraining, or changes to working hours.

Read our guide here to offering suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation.

f. Final Decision: After the consultation process is complete, make a final decision on redundancies, taking into account the feedback and suggestions received during consultation.

g. Communicating the Decision: Inform employees of the final decision, explaining the reasons behind it and outlining the next steps. Provide support and guidance to affected employees, such as outplacement services or counselling.


2. Individual vs. Collective Consultation


The type of consultation required depends on the number of employees being made redundant.

If an employer proposes to make 20 or more employees redundant within a 90-day period, collective consultation is required. This involves consulting with employee representatives or trade unions and must begin at least 30 days before the first redundancy for 20-99 redundancies, and at least 45 days before for 100 or more redundancies.

Collective consultation includes providing representatives with written information about the redundancy proposals, meeting with them to discuss the proposals, and considering their feedback and suggestions.

For smaller redundancies (under 20 employees), while collective consultation isn’t required, employers should still consult affected employees individually to ensure fairness and potentially avoid legal challenges. Individual consultation should involve explaining the reasons for redundancy, and discussing any alternatives.


3. Documentation and Record-Keeping


Maintaining accurate and detailed records throughout the consultation process is essential for demonstrating compliance with legal requirements and ensuring transparency. Key documentation and record-keeping practices include:


a. Meeting Records: Keep detailed notes of all consultation meetings, including the date, attendees, and key points discussed.

b. Written Communications: Retain copies of all written communications with employees and their representatives, including initial announcements, information provided about the redundancy proposals, and final decisions.

c. Employee Feedback: Document any feedback or suggestions received from employees during the consultation process, along with the employer’s response to these suggestions.

d. Selection Criteria: Keep records of the selection criteria used and how they were applied to each employee considered for redundancy.

e. Legal Documentation: Ensure that all legal documentation, such as notices of redundancy and severance agreements, is accurately completed and retained.


Section E: Duty to Notify


In the UK, employers have a legal duty to notify the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) in advance when planning large-scale redundancies. This notification process, known as submitting an HR1 form, is mandatory for employers making redundancies that affect 20 or more employees within a period of 90 days.

This requirement ensures that the RPS is informed about significant workforce reductions, allowing them to monitor and support the redundancy process effectively.


1. Submitting an HR1 Form

When an employer anticipates making 20 or more employees redundant within a 90-day period, they must submit an HR1 form to the Redundancy Payments Service. This form provides essential details such as the number of employees affected, the reasons for redundancy, the proposed consultation process, and the anticipated dates of redundancies. The HR1 form serves as formal notification to the RPS and triggers their involvement in overseeing the redundancy process.


2. Purpose of Notification

The primary purpose of the duty to notify is to ensure transparency and oversight in large-scale redundancy situations. By notifying the RPS in advance, employers enable the service to monitor compliance with legal requirements, particularly concerning consultation processes and statutory redundancy payments. This proactive approach helps to safeguard employees’ rights and ensures that employers fulfil their obligations under UK employment law.


3. Legal Compliance

Failure to notify the RPS appropriately can result in penalties and sanctions. It is essential for employers to adhere to the notification requirements to avoid legal repercussions, including fines and potential claims from affected employees.


4. Consultation and Support

Alongside the notification requirement, employers are encouraged to engage in meaningful consultation with affected employees or their representatives. This consultation process aims to explore alternatives to redundancy, mitigate its impact, and ensure fair treatment of employees throughout the redundancy process.


Section F: Redundancy Pay & Notice Period


Redundancy pay is a statutory entitlement for certain workers under UK employment law, providing financial support to those who are made redundant due to business closures or workforce reductions. This statutory payment is designed to help employees transition during periods of job loss and economic uncertainty.


1. Statutory Redundancy Pay Calculation


Eligible employees are entitled to statutory redundancy pay, which is calculated based on their age, length of continuous service with the employer, and weekly pay. The formula for calculating redundancy pay is as follows:


a. Half a week’s pay for each full year of service under the age of 22

b. One week’s pay for each full year of service aged 22 to 41

c. One and a half week’s pay for each full year of service aged 41 or older


The weekly pay used in the calculation is subject to a statutory cap, updated annually. Currently, the maximum weekly pay used for redundancy calculations is £700. As such, even if an employee earns more than £700 per week, their statutory redundancy pay will be calculated based on this capped amount.


a. Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for statutory redundancy pay, employees must meet certain criteria. They must have worked continuously for their employer for at least two years up to the date of redundancy. This continuous service includes full-time, part-time, and temporary work, with any gaps of less than four weeks typically counting towards the total length of service.


b. Enhanced Redundancy Payments

Some employers offer enhanced redundancy packages that exceed statutory requirements as part of their contractual terms or collective agreements. These packages may include additional weeks of pay per year of service or lump-sum payments based on seniority or specific job roles.


c. Payment Process

Redundancy payments are usually made by the employer directly to the employee upon termination of their employment. Payments should be calculated and provided promptly in line with legal obligations and any additional contractual entitlements.


d. Legal Considerations

Employers must ensure compliance with statutory redundancy pay calculations to avoid disputes or claims of unfair dismissal. Failing to provide redundancy pay or miscalculating the amount can result in legal challenges from employees and penalties imposed by employment tribunals.

Read our comprehensive guide to calculating redundancy pay here.


2. Redundancy Notice Periods


Redundancy notice periods are governed by legal requirements outlined in employment contracts, statutory laws, and collective agreements where applicable. The notice period serves as a critical timeframe during which employers and employees prepare for the termination of employment due to redundancy.


a. Statutory Minimum Notice Periods

The statutory minimum notice periods for redundancy depend on the length of an employee’s continuous service with the employer:


1. Less than one month: No statutory notice period is required.

2. 1 month to 2 years: 1 week’s notice.

3. 2 years to 12 years: 1 week’s notice for each year of continuous service.

4. 12 years or more: 12 weeks’ notice.

These statutory minimums are the legal baseline, and employers may provide longer notice periods if stipulated in employment contracts or collective agreements. Notice periods begin from the date notice is given to the employee, informing them of the redundancy, and must be paid at the employee’s usual rate of pay.


b. Contractual Notice Periods

Employment contracts often specify longer notice periods than the statutory minimums. These contractual terms must be adhered to unless both parties agree to shorter notice periods in writing. Contractual notice periods are legally binding and form part of the employment agreement.


c. Consultation Periods

In collective redundancy situations involving 20 or more employees, employers must consult with employee representatives or trade unions before issuing notice. This consultation period aims to discuss the reasons for redundancy, explore alternatives, and mitigate the impact on employees.


d. Payment During Notice Periods

Employees are entitled to receive their usual salary or wages during the notice period, inclusive of any benefits and allowances stipulated in their employment contracts. Payments must continue until the end of the notice period, even if the employee is placed on garden leave or is allowed to work part-time or from home during this period.


e. Legal Considerations

Failure to provide adequate notice or pay during the notice period can result in claims for wrongful dismissal or breach of contract. Employers are advised to comply with legal requirements, including consulting with legal experts to ensure compliance with employment laws and maintaining positive employee relations during redundancy processes.

Read our full guide to redundancy notice periods here.


Section G: Using Settlement Agreements Instead of Dismissal By Redundancy


Settlement agreements, formerly known as compromise agreements, are legal contracts used in redundancy scenarios to formally terminate an employee’s contract under mutually agreed terms. They are a valuable tool for employers seeking to manage redundancy processes efficiently while providing employees with financial compensation and other benefits in exchange for waiving their rights to pursue legal claims against the employer.

Settlement agreements serve several purposes in redundancy situations. They provide certainty and closure for both parties by resolving potential disputes quickly and confidentially.

For employers, they mitigate the risk of unfair dismissal claims and other legal challenges that could arise from the redundancy process.

For employees, settlement agreements offer financial compensation beyond statutory entitlements, along with additional benefits such as notice pay, accrued holiday pay, and sometimes support with job search or retraining.


1. Negotiation Process


The negotiation of a settlement agreement typically begins with the employer proposing terms to the employee. These terms may include the amount of financial compensation offered, the provision of a reference, confidentiality clauses, and any other relevant provisions. Employees have the right to seek independent legal advice before signing the agreement, ensuring they fully understand the implications of waiving their employment rights.


2. Legal Requirements


For a settlement agreement to be valid, certain legal requirements must be met. The agreement must be in writing and clearly state that it relates to the specific statutory claims being waived by the employee, such as claims for unfair dismissal, redundancy pay, and discrimination. The employee must receive independent legal advice from a qualified solicitor, barrister, or trade union representative who signs a certificate confirming they have provided advice. This ensures that the employee understands the terms and implications of the agreement before making an informed decision.


3. Employee Considerations


Employees should carefully consider the terms offered in a settlement agreement, particularly concerning the financial compensation and any post-employment restrictions, such as non-compete or non-disclosure clauses. They have a statutory minimum period of at least ten calendar days to consider the terms of the agreement before signing, during which time the offer remains open for acceptance.


4. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure


Settlement agreements often include confidentiality clauses preventing both parties from disclosing the terms or existence of the agreement to third parties, except in specific circumstances. This confidentiality ensures that the terms of the settlement and the reasons for redundancy remain private, protecting the reputations of both the employer and the employee.


5. Finality and Enforcement


Once signed, settlement agreements are legally binding, and employees waive their rights to pursue any claims covered by the agreement against the employer. They provide a final resolution to the employment relationship, allowing both parties to move forward without the risk of future legal disputes arising from the redundancy process.

Read our full guide to using settlement agreements in redundancy situations here.


Section H: Supporting Affected Employees


Given the stress that redundancy can place on affected employees, employers have a responsibility to be compassionate and supportive throughout the process. Providing comprehensive support not only helps employees transition to new opportunities but also demonstrates the employer’s commitment to their wellbeing.


1. Providing Support and Guidance


Employers should provide detailed information and guidance to help employees understand their rights and options. Key aspects of providing support and guidance include:


a. Clear Communication: Ensure that employees receive timely and clear information about the redundancy process, including timelines, selection criteria, and the support available to them.

b. Individual Meetings: Arrange one-on-one meetings with affected employees to discuss their specific situation, answer any questions, and provide personalised support and advice.

c. Informational Resources: Provide access to informational resources, such as guides on redundancy rights, advice on job searching, and information about available benefits and support services.

d. Point of Contact: Designate a point of contact within the organisation who employees can approach with any questions or concerns during the redundancy process.


2. Time Off to Find a New Job


In the UK, workers who are facing redundancy are entitled to reasonable time off during their notice period to look for alternative employment or to arrange training for future employment. The rules governing this entitlement are outlined in the Employment Rights Act 1996. Key points include:


a. Reasonable Time Off: Employees who have been given notice of redundancy are entitled to take a reasonable amount of paid time off during working hours to look for another job or make arrangements for training for future employment.


b. Notice Period: This entitlement typically applies during the employee’s notice period, which is the period between being informed of redundancy and the actual termination of employment.


c. Length of Time: The amount of time off allowed is not specified in exact hours or days but is expected to be reasonable and agreed upon between the employer and employee. Factors such as the job market, the employee’s skills, and the efforts needed to secure new employment are considered in determining what constitutes reasonable time off.


d. Employer’s Discretion: While the law provides for reasonable time off, the specific details, including when and how often time off is taken, are usually agreed upon between the employer and employee. This could be outlined in employment contracts or redundancy agreements.


e. Purpose of Time Off: The purpose of this time off is to facilitate the employee’s transition to new employment smoothly, helping them secure another job or receive necessary training to enhance their employability.


f. Legal Protection: Employees are protected from unfair treatment or dismissal due to exercising their right to take time off to seek new employment under these circumstances.


3. Outplacement Services


Outplacement services are professional services provided to help employees transition to new employment opportunities. These services can be highly beneficial in supporting affected employees to increase their chances of finding new employment quickly and may include:


a. Career Coaching: Providing one-on-one career coaching to help employees identify their strengths, explore career options, and develop a job search strategy.

b. CV and Interview Preparation: Offering assistance with writing CVs cover letters, and preparing for job interviews to enhance employees’ chances of securing new roles.

c. Job Search Assistance: Providing resources and support for job searching, including access to job listings, networking opportunities, and job fairs.

d. Workshops and Training: Organising workshops and training sessions on topics such as job searching, networking, and personal branding.


4. Offering Retraining or Redeployment


Offering retraining and redeployment can help retain valuable employees in new roles within the organisation and reduce the negative impact of redundancy on the workforce. Key strategies for retraining or redeployment include:


a. Skills Assessment: Conducting a skills assessment to identify employees’ transferable skills and areas where retraining might be beneficial.

b. Retraining Programmes: Offering retraining to help employees develop new skills or enhance existing ones, making them suitable for different roles within the organisation.

c. Redeployment Opportunities: Identifying and offering suitable redeployment opportunities within the organisation, ensuring that employees have the chance to apply for these roles before external candidates.

d. Support for Internal Mobility: Providing support for internal mobility, such as coaching, mentoring, and assistance with the application process for new roles within the company.


5. Counselling and Emotional Support


Redundancy can be a highly stressful and emotional experience for employees. Providing access to counselling and emotional support can help them cope with the changes and maintain their wellbeing. Key aspects of offering counselling and emotional support include:


a. Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs): Implementing or promoting existing Employee Assistance Programmes that offer confidential counselling and support services for employees.

b. Mental Health Support: Providing access to mental health resources, such as counselling services, support groups, and online resources focused on coping with stress and anxiety.

c. Regular Check-Ins: Encouraging managers to conduct regular check-ins with affected employees to offer support, listen to their concerns, and provide reassurance.

d Creating a Supportive Environment: Fostering a supportive and empathetic workplace culture where employees feel comfortable seeking help and discussing their concerns.


Section I: Managing the Remaining Workforce


Redundancy can have an impact not only on those who are dismissed but also on those who were at-risk as well as others in the organisation who may be concerned about future redundancies.

Employees who remain may experience uncertainty and anxiety, which can affect their performance and engagement, or they may consider leaving the organisation to avoid any potential further redundancies.

It is worthwhile, therefore, to take proactive measures to engage with the remaining workforce to maintain morale, productivity, and overall workplace stability.


1. Maintaining Morale and Productivity


To maintain morale and productivity among the remaining workforce after a redundancy process, it helps to acknowledge and address the emotions experienced by employees who remain, such as anxiety, guilt, or uncertainty about the future.

Proactively rebuilding trust within the team is vital, achieved through demonstrating fairness, transparency, and empathy throughout the redundancy process and beyond. Recognising and supporting the hard work and dedication of remaining employees is also key, as well as providing regular appreciation and encouragement to enhance morale and motivation.

Organising team-building activities and events fosters stronger relationships, improves communication, and cultivates unity and collaboration among the team.

Additionally, ensuring fair workload distribution and providing necessary resources supports employees in effectively managing their responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed.


2. Transparent Communication


Open and honest communication is fundamental to maintaining trust among the remaining workforce and helps avoid misunderstandings. Key aspects include encouraging open dialogue between management and employees to foster a culture where concerns can be voiced freely.

Providing regular updates on business status, future plans, and changes reduces uncertainty and keeps employees well-informed. Establishing channels for two-way communication, such as town hall meetings and suggestion boxes, ensures employees can share thoughts and receive management responses.

Actively listening to employees’ concerns and promptly responding demonstrates management’s responsiveness, significantly boosting morale and enhancing overall engagement within the organisation.


3. Reassuring Job Security


Reassuring the remaining workforce about their job security can reduce anxiety and help maintain a stable work environment.

Strategies to achieve this include sharing the organisation’s vision and strategic plans with employees clarifying how their roles contribute to future business success.

Transparency in decision-making processes that led to redundancies, along with disclosing financial information and security measures, helps bolster confidence. Offering career development opportunities underscores the company’s commitment to employees’ long-term growth.

Clear communication of job security policies, such as guarantees against future redundancies or support for retraining and redeployment, further enhances reassurance. Ensuring senior management accessibility through regular town hall meetings and open-door policies fosters direct interaction and confidence in leadership.


Section J: Summary

Redundancy is a challenging process for employers and employees, albeit for different reasons. For the organisation, making workers redundant carries a high degree of legal risk, which can only be mitigated by following a fair and lawful procedure.

Employees enjoy specific protections during redundancy, and employers must ensure they are procedurally compliant to avoid the risk of costly tribunal claims for unfair dismissal claims.

Taking professional advice from the outset can help to ensure a compliant process is followed, from the initial consideration of redundancy as a course of action to the stages that are necessary for a fair dismissal.


Section K: Need Assistance?


Our employment law experts are experienced in guiding employers through all types of redundancy situations.

We understand the commercial realities that drive the need to make redundancies.

Supporting you from the outset, we work with management and HR teams to help you ascertain if the circumstances qualify as redundancy and if this is the only course of action open to you.

Where redundancy is necessary and unavoidable, we will guide you through the legal process with pragmatic advice and sensitive handling to ensure a fair and lawful procedure is followed, and exposure to employee complaints is minimised.

Contact us for specialist redundancy advice for your organisation.


Section L: FAQs


What is redundancy?
Redundancy occurs when an employer needs to reduce their workforce because certain roles are no longer required. This can result from factors such as organisational restructuring, financial difficulties, or technological changes.


What are the legal requirements for redundancy in the UK?
UK redundancy laws require employers to follow a fair selection process, engage in consultation with affected employees, provide appropriate notice periods, and offer statutory redundancy pay. Compliance with these laws helps avoid legal disputes and ensures a fair process for employees.


How should employers select employees for redundancy?
Employers should use objective criteria such as skills, performance, attendance records, and length of service to select employees for redundancy. The selection process must be fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory.


What is the consultation process in redundancy?
The consultation process involves informing and consulting with affected employees about the proposed redundancies. It includes providing detailed information, discussing alternatives, and considering feedback. For collective redundancies (20 or more employees), consultation with employee representatives or trade unions is required.


What support should be provided to employees facing redundancy?
Employers should offer comprehensive support, including clear communication, outplacement services, retraining opportunities, and counselling. This helps employees transition to new opportunities and maintains morale.


How can employers maintain morale among remaining employees after redundancies?
Employers can maintain morale by providing clear and transparent communication, acknowledging emotions, offering support and recognition, managing workloads effectively, and reassuring employees about job security and future opportunities.


Section M: Glossary of Redundancy Terms


Redundancy: The process where an employer reduces their workforce because certain roles are no longer required.

Consultation: A process of informing and discussing with employees or their representatives about proposed redundancies, alternatives, and mitigating measures.

Selection Criteria: Objective factors used to determine which employees will be selected for redundancy, such as skills, performance, and length of service.

Statutory Redundancy Pay: Minimum compensation that eligible employees are entitled to receive when made redundant, based on their length of service, age, and weekly pay.

Collective Consultation: Consultation process required when an employer proposes to make 20 or more employees redundant within a 90-day period, involving employee representatives or trade unions.

Outplacement Services: Professional support provided to redundant employees to help them transition to new employment, including career coaching, CV writing, and job search assistance.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP): A workplace programme offering confidential counselling and support services to employees facing personal or work-related challenges.

Employment Rights Act 1996: UK legislation that outlines employees’ rights in redundancy situations, including consultation requirements, notice periods, and redundancy pay.

Discrimination: Treating someone unfairly because of a protected characteristic, such as age, gender, race, disability, or pregnancy, during the redundancy process.

Employment Tribunal: A legal body in the UK where employment-related disputes, including unfair dismissal claims resulting from redundancy, are resolved.

Job Security: Assurance provided to employees regarding the continuity of their employment and the absence of future redundancy risks within a specified period.

Two-Way Communication: Open and transparent dialogue between employers and employees, allowing for feedback, questions, and discussions during the redundancy process.

Redeployment: The process of transferring employees to alternative roles within the organisation to avoid redundancy, where suitable opportunities exist.

Employer Responsibilities: Legal obligations that employers must fulfil during the redundancy process, including consultation, fairness, and compliance with employment laws.

Legal Advice: Professional guidance from solicitors or legal experts on compliance with employment laws, contractual obligations, and mitigating legal risks during redundancies.

Financial Advice: Expert advice from financial consultants or advisors on budgeting for redundancy costs, managing financial implications, and ensuring financial sustainability.

Case Studies: Detailed examples of successful or innovative approaches to managing redundancies, providing practical insights and lessons learned from real-world scenarios.

Morale: The mental and emotional state of employees, including their confidence, motivation, and satisfaction with their work environment, which can be impacted by redundancy processes.


Section N: Additional Resources


GOV.UK – Redundancy: your rights 

Official government resource provides comprehensive information on redundancy rights for employees and employers in the UK.


Acas – Redundancy 

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) offering practical guidance, resources, and best practice advice on handling redundancies and consultation processes.


CIPD – Redundancy and restructuring

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) provides insights, tools, and resources on redundancy management, including legal obligations and good practice.


Law Society – Redundancy and dismissal 


The Law Society offers guidance on redundancy laws, dismissal procedures, and legal considerations for employers in the UK.



Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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