When any business is struggling, for whatever reason and they are faced with having to consider redundancies, this is often not an easy decision to make and if it can be avoided most business will want to keep the necessary skills and people in the business.
It is important that any business considers alternatives before making any employee redundant and redundancy should be the last resort.
Employers have lots of options in the first instance and should take all reasonable steps to avoid compulsory redundancies by considering alternatives, for example:
Seeking applicants for voluntary redundancy and/or even early retirement
Seeking applications from existing staff to work flexibly
Reducing work hours and job share
Laying off casual or contract staff – provided that they are not fixed-term or part-time employees
Reducing or banning overtime
Reduction or suspension of benefits
Allowing employees to take a sabbatical
Another good option is seeking ideas from the staff and this will need to be done anyway during the consultation process.