Acas, the CBI and the TUC have issued a joint statement to employers on best practice for handling redundancy situations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The statement recognises that employers may need to make redundancies in order to survive, but it urges them to exhaust all possible alternatives before doing so and to carry out effective consultation with workers and trade unions.
The statement then calls on all employers considering redundancies to work with their workers and trade unions and get the process right by following these five guiding principles:
- Do it openly: there are rules for collective redundancies (those involving 20 or more staff), but whatever the scale, the sooner people understand the situation, the better for everyone.
- Do it thoroughly: to understand what's happening, people need information and guidance, and staff representatives need proper training.
- Do it genuinely: consultation means hearing people's views before making a decision, so employers need to be open to alternatives put forward by individuals or unions and should always give feedback.
- Do it fairly: all aspects of the redundancy procedure should be conducted fairly and without any form of discrimination.
- Do it with dignity: losing your job has a human as a well as a business cost; the way an employer lets people go says a lot about the organisation's values. Employers should therefore think about how they will handle the conversation and whether it will take place face-to-face or remotely and should remember that they may want to rehire the same person in the future.