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Forecast for a global recession brings new fear of widespread redundancies

Published 08 February 2016

As experts predict another global recession the prospect of savage job cuts looms once again.

The worry is that an oil price plunge and deflation from emerging markets will engulf central banks, tip the markets and collapse the Eurozone.

It is feared Britain could be about to enter a recession, which may be more brutal than 2008.

Over the past year, oil companies have already cut thousands of jobs and state-owned bank Lloyds recently announced it is set to axe 1,755 posts.

Jobs loses are inevitable in times of financial crisis, and for employers managing redundancies correctly is crucial.

Getting it right will protect any organisation, regardless of size, against legal claims from disgruntled former staff who believe they have been dismissed unfairly.

A sound business case should be prepared to demonstrate a ‘fair’ reason for dismissal, and to show that a genuine redundancy situation exists.

Offer voluntary redundancies, but if the number willing to accept it does not meet the number of jobs to be axed, then a fair selection criteria should be used. It should be non-discriminatory, consistently applied, objective and fair.

Consultation with employees is crucial. One-to-one meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss reasons for selection or discover any possibilities for avoiding dismissal. Consideration should also be given as to whether there are any suitable alternative vacancies available.

Statutory dispute resolution procedures should be followed, with employees invited to discuss proposed redundancy and given the right to be accompanied at such meetings. They should also be allowed to appeal any decision.

Do not rush the process. It is important to allocate enough time in order so that additional meetings can be held if required and extra information can be provided if necessary. Conducting the process too quickly can give the impression it is a sham.

It is common for employees selected for redundancy to feel aggrieved and in such cases they should be able to air their grievance and have it heard, investigated and resolved before a decision is confirmed.

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