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Sadly, for many businesses, the current climate has resulted in a need to consider making staff redundant. More often than not it is the situations where redundancies have been mishandled that are picked up by the press.

Redundancy can be complex and can take its toll on those handling the process within the business and, of course, those who find themselves at risk.

Whilst many people are aware that a formal and structured process must be followed to ensure redundancy is handled fairly, when difficult decisions are under consideration it can be easy to forget the importance of careful early planning at the start of the process.

Making a redundancy plan

A redundancy plan should be formulated confidentially with only the necessary decision-makers involved. Nothing should be pre-determined at this stage, and remember, the important point is that you are looking at the viability of the roles themselves, and not the individuals who carry them out. Plans must be adaptable and flexible enough to allow for any unexpected turn of events. Employees may present ideas and proposals along the way that have not previously been considered.

Plans should identify who (either within the business or externally) may be best placed and suitably experienced to manage the process and advise on key points.

A carefully considered plan can help identify ways to avoid redundancy and be key in helping a difficult process run as smoothly as possible. Organised planning will allow employers to determine appropriate timescales, potential numbers involved, mechanisms for scoring, selection and meaningful consultation. This early planning will also help to ensure matters are handled consistently, confidentially and with sensitivity. Ensure staff are aware of how to access any relevant wellbeing benefits such as employee assistance lines or mental health support.

How we can help with the redundancy process

Without careful planning, important stages can easily be missed, exposing businesses to unnecessary reputational and financial risk, and leaving staff feeling rushed, unsupported and aggrieved at what is already a difficult time.

If you need any help with planning redundancies, or are already in a process and having problems, please give our employment lawyers a call on 01202 786276 or email us at