The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘Furlough Scheme’) will finally come to an end on 30th September 2021, as part of Britain’s plan to bounce back from the pandemic. Here we look at planning for the end of furlough and redundancies.
Faced with further uncertain trading conditions, and financial responsibilities, many employers are reviewing their workforce and requirements to consider whether staffing levels are sustainable.
For employers that have no choice but to make redundancies, it is important to think about commencing redundancy consultations now in order to give the business time to fully consult all affected employees and their representatives, and to minimise future employment costs once the furlough scheme ends.
Our redundancy guide for employers can be found here, including a breakdown of the process, but here are some further considerations for employers:
Consultation period requirements
If you intend to make 20 or more people redundant, you will trigger a requirement for a collective consultation, which includes a minimum consultation period where redundancy dismissals cannot take place.
If your business is planning to make between 20 – 99 redundancies, then your consultation period will be 30 days, and for 100 employees or more it stands at 45 days.
It’s also important to note that in addition to the requirements above, if you are making any number of employees with more than two years of continuous service redundant, then you need to adhere to minimum requirements in terms of consultation and meetings.
Alternative option: Non-compulsory redundancy
Employers have the option to ask their employees if they would like to volunteer for redundancy. This option will help employers to protect employees who are more dependent on their job.
If you still need to make employees redundant after exploring a non-compulsory route, you then have the option to move onto compulsory redundancy.
Alternative option: Offering other and similar roles
During the consultation period and up until the dismissal takes effect, you are obliged to consider employees at risk for any suitable alternative vacancies that become available in the business or in any associated companies.
If you have more than one employee at risk of redundancy suitable for an available role, you can hold a competitive interview process to identify the best candidate for the role.
For confidential advice on any HR matters, including planning for the end of furlough and redundancies, we provide a 15-minute support call with Director Suzanne Hurndall – you can book straight into the calendar below: