Redundancy is one of those terms that people use without really knowing what it means. In fact, redundancy is such a broad term that it can mean different things to different people. For example, some people might think about redundancy in terms of having too many employees while others might consider it as having too much work to do. So how does redundancy actually affect you? And what are the best ways to deal with it?
In short, redundancy is when there is duplication of effort within a team. This can happen due to a number of reasons including lack of skills, lack of experience, poor communication, or just plain laziness. When this happens, it becomes difficult for managers to know whether someone else could handle a task better than themselves. To avoid redundancy, companies must make sure that everyone knows exactly what each person’s role is and that they understand why certain tasks need to be done.
The good news is that most redundancies are easy to fix. Simply put, the solution lies in hiring more qualified individuals. However, if this isn’t possible, then the next option is to delegate the redundant tasks to less experienced members of the team. Another way to reduce redundancy is to give employees more responsibility. If you assign them more responsibilities, they will become more efficient because they won’t feel like they are doing everything themselves. Lastly, don’t forget to communicate with your team regularly. Make sure that everyone understands their roles and that they know what they are supposed to be working on every day.
When might you have to think about being redundant?
Redundancy situations occur when employers need to cut back on staff number. They often happen when businesses relocate or reduce their workforce. In most cases, redundances are driven by cost cutting measure.
The redundancy process explained
Before starting a redundancy process, make sure there are no other solutions to the problem. You don’t want to waste time and money on something that could be resolved easily. Also, make sure the redundancy process is fair. Don’t just fire someone because they are easier to replace. There should be some sort of compensation plan. And finally, let everyone know about the redundancies ahead of time. This way, people have time to find another job.
Step 1 – Clarify your motivations.
One of my clients recently asked me how many people she needed to let go of her team. She had been working with a large organization for over 10 years and felt like it was time to move on. I told her that she didn’t really want to let anyone go; she wanted to replace them with better talent. Her response was surprising. She said, “I don’t think we are letting anybody go. We just need to find someone else to do what they do.” This client had been at the same job for over ten years and knew exactly what she did every day. When she came to me, she thought she was being redundant. In reality, she wasn’t. There was no one else who could do what she does. What she needed to do was to figure out why she was still there.
The reason she was still there was simple: she hadn’t communicated clearly about what she was doing and why she was doing it. She had simply assumed everyone understood her role without ever explaining it. If she had done that, she wouldn’t have been redundant. She would have been providing value. Instead, she was redundant.
Her next step was to take a hard look at herself and ask some questions. Why am I here? How much value am I adding? Who needs what I do? Once she answered those questions, she realized that she wasn’t actually redundant. She was necessary. She was making a difference. And that meant that she shouldn’t be fired.
She now had to communicate clearly about what she does and why she does it. To do that, she had to understand the three things that matter most to her customers: Why they buy, where they buy, and how they buy. Only once she understood those things could she begin communicating effectively.
If you’re looking to reduce redundancy in your organization, start by asking yourself these three questions. Then, talk to your employees and see what they say. You might be surprised at what you learn.
Step 2 – Identify the positions that will be at risk for being eliminated
A single person performing a role within an organization that could be performed by someone else makes that person redundant. Redundancy occurs when one person performs multiple tasks that could be done by others. If you perform a task that can be performed by another employee, you might be considered redundant.
Redundant employees are often overlooked because managers don’t want to lose their best performers. However, if you’re redundant, there are several things you can do to keep your job. You can ask your manager about being moved into different responsibilities. You can negotiate pay raises and promotions based on performance. You can look for opportunities outside of your current position.
If you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you are redundant, take the next few steps to ensure that you don’t become obsolete. First, identify what you do well. Then, make sure that you are doing those things every day. Finally, evaluate how much value you add to your team. If you aren’t adding value, consider whether you should continue working at your current place of employment.
Step 3 – Informing employees that their position may be eliminated
If you’re working on a long list of posts, it’s easy to overlook one that might otherwise be redundant. If you’ve got a few dozen blog posts sitting around, it’s tempting to just delete them without thinking about whether they could still help someone else.
But there’s no reason to throw away perfectly good content unless it’s absolutely necessary. Here are some ways to make sure you don’t accidentally delete something that could benefit others.
1. Check Your Analytics
You probably already check your analytics every day, but did you ever stop and think about how many visitors you had yesterday compared to the same day last week? Or what percentage of those visits came from mobile devices versus desktop computers?
Analytics can tell you a lot about traffic patterns, so take a look at your data over the course of a couple days and see where things stand. You’ll want to keep an eye out for spikes in traffic that seem like outliers – maybe a spike in traffic from a specific device type, or a sudden increase in traffic from a particular location. These are signs that something unusual happened during the period you checked your stats, and it’s possible that your site attracted a bunch of attention from a source you hadn’t expected.
2. Look For Duplicate Content
When you find yourself deleting posts because they’re “redundant,” it’s worth checking to see if they’re duplicates. Many blogs use a tool called WP All Import to import old posts into WordPress, and while it does a great job of keeping track of what’s been imported, it doesn’t always catch everything.
Step 4 – Create a selection criterion list
The next step is to draw up a selection criteria. This could include things like:
• What are you looking for in a candidate?
• How do you want to work together?
• Do you want someone local to you?
• Are you looking for a specific skill set?
• Is it important to you that the person works well under pressure?
• Is it essential that the person is flexible?
Step 5 – Initial consultation with a person
Your outcome letter will include a list of items you discussed during the consultation meeting. This includes topics such as how to improve the proposal, what changes you want to make, and whether there are any additional questions. If you didn’t receive feedback directly from the consultant, you will need to follow up individually with each person who attended the meeting.
You must send a copy of the outcome letter to the consultant within 30 days of the consultation meeting.
Step 6 – scoring for selection criteria (if applicable)
The selection criteria should be based upon what you want the new hire to do and how well they are able to perform those tasks. For example, if you are looking for someone to manage a sales force, make sure you look for candidates who have experience managing a sales force. If you are hiring a project manager, make sure you look at resumes that show previous success in leading projects.
Make sure you include some sort of scoring system in your job description. This way, applicants know exactly what type of person you are looking for. You might use something like this:
1. Experience working with Salesforce
2. Experience working with CRM systems
3. Experience working with Marketing Automation tools
4. Ability to communicate effectively
5. Strong interpersonal skills
Step 7 – Second consultation meeting
At this stage you should review your employee’s performance and discuss what needs changing. You might want to use the same process to evaluate yourself too. If you are unhappy with how things are going, it’s important to take action now. Don’t wait for the situation to become worse.
Make sure you give the person who receives the feedback an opportunity to respond to it before moving onto the next steps. This gives them the chance to explain why they think they did well or didn’t do badly.
A final consultation meeting could be needed to confirm whether the position still exists.
Step 8 – Considering alternatives
The redundancy process begins once the employer decides it needs to make redundancies. This decision is usually taken following a review of performance against agreed targets. If the target is not met, the employer must offer a suitable alternative job. This could mean anything from changing the role or responsibility of the employee to offering training.
If there is doubt about whether a particular position is a suitable alternative, legal advice should be sought. In some cases, employees may be entitled to compensation even though the position does not meet the definition of a’suitable alternative’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996. For example, if an employee is being asked to do something outside his/her normal duties, such as working overtime, he/she may be able to claim compensation.
In addition, if the employee accepts the alternative, s/he cannot later argue that it wasn’t a suitable alternative. Therefore, the employee must carefully consider the options and decide whether accepting the alternative is worthwhile.
Employees must be given sufficient notice of the redundancy consultation period. They must be told how long the consultation period will run for and what information will be collected during the consultation period. During the consultation period, the employer must give the employee reasonable opportunity to discuss the matter with him/herself and seek independent legal advice.
Once the consultation period ends, the employer must provide the employee with a written statement setting out the reasons why the redundancy consultation has been unsuccessful. This document must include a list of all the positions considered for redundancy and the reasons why those positions were rejected.
After receiving the written statement, the employee must respond within 14 days. He/she must explain why he/she believes the proposed action is unfair and unjustified. S/he must also state whether he/she wishes to challenge the proposal. If the employee chooses to challenge the proposal, s/he must pay the employer’s costs incurred up to that stage.
If the employee agrees with the proposal, s/h must sign a formal agreement stating that s/he understands the consequences of doing so.
Step 9 – Final consultation/redundancy dismissal meeting
At this meeting you can make the final decision to issue notice of redundancy. You must inform the employee of the outcome of the meeting and provide them with the appropriate documents.
You cannot dismiss someone without giving them proper notice. If you do not notify the employee of the outcome within 14 days of the meeting, you are committing an unfair dismissal offence.
The employer has no obligation to pay compensation during the period of notice. However, if you decide to offer the employee some form of financial assistance, it must be paid within 7 days of receiving notification of redundancy. This is known as the ‘right to request payment’.
If you fail to comply with the above requirements, you could face prosecution under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
Step 10 – ability to appeal
The final step in the redundancy procedure is the right to appeal. This is where you can challenge the decision and request further information about why it was taken. You are entitled to receive written reasons for the decision and to see the documents used to support it. If you think there has been unfairness, discrimination or victimisation, you can make a complaint to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
If you believe you have suffered unfair dismissal, you can take legal action against your former employer.
You must act within six months of receiving notice of the redundancy decision.
What is the turnaround time for a redundancy?
In most cases, it will actually take two weeks to replace someone. You don’t want to lose two weeks’ worth of work because you didn’t plan ahead enough. So here are some tips to help you avoid this situation:
1. Make sure you have a good replacement lined up – you don’t want to start looking for someone while you’re still trying to find out what happened to your previous employee.
2. Plan ahead – think about how much notice you’ll need to give people, and whether there are any special arrangements you need to make such as holiday pay or sick days.
3. Don’t panic – you might feel like you’ve lost control over your business, but remember that you still have plenty of options. If you need to cut costs, you could consider reducing hours or offering part-time work.
4. Consider outsourcing – if you’re struggling to find the right candidate, why not look into hiring freelancers or contractors? This way, you won’t have to worry about finding someone suitable and you can focus on running your business.
5. Hire someone else – if you can afford to do so, why not try and hire someone else while you’re waiting for your current employee to leave?
6. Be fair – always offer a reasonable amount of notice, and make sure you treat everyone fairly. For example, if you know your colleague has been working really hard recently, you could let him/her go earlier than usual.
Repercussions of conducting the redundancy process incorrectly
Employment law firm, Beasley Brittain, explains how employers must consider whether there are legitimate grounds for redundancies, before giving notice. There are three stages to this process. Each stage needs be lawful and fair. Failure to comply with the consultation requirements could lead to a tribunal finding against you, and employees who give notice of resignation during the statutory notice period are likely to face disciplinary action, including dismissal.
The employment relationship is governed by legislation, such as the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. This includes the right to redundancy pay and notice periods. These rights apply to both public and private sector workers. They are designed to protect employees from unfair treatment. However, it is important to note that employers do not always act fairly towards employees. For example, employers often use redundancy procedures to avoid paying compensation claims for wrongful dismissal.
There are three stages to the procedure. The employer must provide written information about the proposed redundancy scheme to each affected worker. Employees must receive this information within 14 days of making the request. They must also be given the opportunity to make representations to the employer.
HR’s role in the layoff procedure
A redundancy is one way to cut costs, save money and reduce risk. When you are making redundancies, it is important to ensure that there is no disruption to your employees, customers or clients. This includes informing your people about what is happening and how they can prepare themselves. You must inform them in advance and give them enough notice to make alternative arrangements.
HR departments play a key role in ensuring that redundancies go smoothly. In addition to providing information to employees, they will help to manage the process, including liaising with your legal team. They will also take care of the following:
• Keep everyone informed
• Provide support during the redundancy process
• Help to avoid any issues
• Work closely with your legal advisors
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I confirm the redundancy, if no alternatives are identified?
If you want to confirm redundancies without having to go through the whole process of identifying alternatives, there is a way around it.
The law says that if you don’t identify alternatives when making redundancies and you haven’t given employees the chance to appeal, you must give them written confirmation of the redundancy. You can send this via email, post or even fax. However, it’s best to write the letter yourself rather than use a template. Doing so gives you full control over what information you include and ensures that the employee receives everything they need to know about the redundancy.
When can an employee claim unfair dismissal?
An employee who feels they have been dismissed unfairly has three months to take their employer to an employment tribunal. This applies whether the dismissal falls under the Employment Rights Act 1996 or the Equality Act 2010. An employee must have had at least two years’ continuous service with the employer and allege that the reason given for his or her dismissal was not genuine, or that it did not follow a proper procedure.
If an employee succeeds in proving this allegation, he or she can receive either a basic award (the same amount awarded to those making a redundancy claim) or a compensatory award of one year’s pay. However, the maximum compensatory award cannot exceed £42,973.
The law does not specify how long employees are entitled to make such claims. But it states that “an employee shall have at least two years continuous service with the employer.” So, for example, someone who left work early on Friday afternoon and returned on Monday morning could still file a claim against their former employer, even though they might not have worked for four days.