What are the alternatives to redundancy? 

There were dire predictions of massive job losses when the £70billion furlough scheme came to an end last month but early data shows that it has, in fact, not led to the wave of redundancies expected. Here we ask “What are the alternatives to redundancy?“.

As businesses continue to look to reduce overheads, redundancy may still be on the cards for some employers.. but it doesn’t always need to be your first option – there are alternatives.  

What are the alternatives to redundancy? 

  1. Redeploying and retraining employees. Redeployment or retraining can help redistribute your workforce appropriately but you should consult with employees first. For example, look at what transferable skills staff have and whether there are other vacant or new roles in the organisation that require those skills. 
  2. Job shares. In the event of particularly hard times, it is possible for employees to job share. This is when two employees share the work and pay for the same single job.  
  3. Flexible working. This has become much more common over the past 19 months or so as widespread remote working has proved that employees in many industries can work from home. Changes to hours have also become common, with some employees wanting to reduce their working time to enjoy a better work/life balance.  
  4. Recruitment freezes. Pause bringing on new team members – this is one of the simplest ways to avoid redundancies. 
  5. Overtime freezes and short-time working. Be aware that asking employees to work reduced hours or putting a freeze on overtime as alternatives to redundancy means that workflow will slow down. However, short-time working as a temporary measure does allow you to keep an employee on, but on a reduced-hour basis.  
  6. Lay-offs. This is not the same as redundancy, as it’s a temporary measure where the employee is not provided with any work for the entire working week but remains employed by your business. Employees on lay-off qualify for Statutory Guarantee Pay (currently £30) for the first five workless days in any 13-week period. 

Remember, with all these options, you still need to communicate fully with your employees before introducing any new measures and keep them updated throughout.   

To speak to a member of the hr inspire team today to discuss your alternatives to redundancy, contact our expert HR team. 

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