The redundancy process is complicated and will differ between person to person. You can find a detailed description of the process and its rules and regulations on the gov.uk website.
The following though is a summary of that process, from a friend who works in HR. They regularly have to go through the redundancy process from the other side of the table, so I asked if they could contribute some thoughts to the process.
If your employer has identified that you’re at risk of redundancy, then they need to follow a legal process. That process is complicated and can differ depending on circumstance. For instance, If a large group of people are at risk, then the process will be different than if one person was at risk.
A very general rule is that if more than 20 people are at risk, then the process gets more defined and formal. An employer has considerably more freedom to dictate a redundancy process if there are less than 20 people at risk. They do though need to act reasonably and adhere to some critical points of process and legislation. They should, generally at a minimum:
1) Announce that you’re at risk of redundancy, and explain why. Typically a meeting would be called.
2) This announcement formally starts a ‘meaningful consultation’ period.
3) In the consultation period, the employer must show that they have undertaken a fair selection process and that they have considered alternatives to making you redundant. The employer may deliver that information in one or more ‘consultancy meetings’, in which you have the right to make suggestions and ask questions.
4) Finally, the employer should confirm the outcome of the consultation period and if you are due any entitlements. It should be given to you in writing.
Broadly speaking if an employer follows these steps, they can probably show that they have followed a fair procedure.
- Each case depends on individual facts and circumstance.
- Depending on the circumstances, the process could take between a week and a month. (if a large number of people are considered at risk, this could be longer).
- Meaningful consultation means an opportunity for you to input into the process, and make suggestions which they are obliged to consider but not necessarily agree
- If you feel that the employer has not followed a similar process or have not acted reasonably, then it may be worth taking more formal advice.