How do I prepare for a redundancy consultation meeting?
Whether you expect it or not being officially informed you may be made redundant can be a shock.
Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for the subsequent process is essential.
Redundancy is a form of dismissal, which occurs when you role is no longer needed [1.cited 18.10.21]
For a redundancy to be genuine, your employer must demonstrate your job will no longer exist.
Redundancies can be compulsory or non-compulsory.
There will inevitably be situations where redundancy is unavoidable, and others in which there is a reasonable alternative to redundancy.
It is why it is vital that you are prepared, ready and able to challenge a redundancy process if it is unfair.
If you are informed of potential redundancy, your employer should consult with you which is known as redundancy consultation [2.cited 18.10.21]
It should involve at least two meetings with you. It must be a genuine attempt to engage with you to explore reasonable alternatives to redundancy.
You should be given advance notice of a redundancy consultation meeting, so do your homework to make sure you are ready for it.
Ensure you fully understand the reason why you are being considered for redundancy and the future plans for the business.
Gather as much information as you can. Your employer may provide you with a business case, restructure plans, details of a selection criteria and other relevant paperwork.
Carefully review all information provided. It will ensure you are knowledgeable about the situation and in the best position to argue your case not to be selected for redundancy.
Prior to the consultation meeting, if anything is unclear request in writing clarification or additional information that may help you to assert your case.
If you are facing compulsory redundancy your employer should use a redundancy selection criteria matrix[3.cited 18.10.21]
Make sure you know exactly what will be used and measured to decide which staff will be made redundant.
The criteria can include your standard of work and performance, skills, qualifications or experience, attendance record and disciplinary record.
Check the information being relied upon by your employer is correct and being considered fairly.
For example, your attendance record should not include any absences that relate to a disability, pregnancy or maternity.
As you prepare for a consultation meeting, you will undoubtedly have questions about the process. Write them down as they come to mind in order so that you can ask them at the meeting.
Your employer must try and move employees selected for redundancy into other jobs or offer ‘suitable alternative employment’.
So think about any reasonable alternatives you can suggest to redundancy and be prepared to discuss them.
Could your skills and experience be utilised in a different role, or in a new role in a restructure? If you believe they can, be ready to tell your employer how and why.
There is no statutory right for you to be accompanied at meetings under a redundancy procedure. But it is good practice for your employer to allow you to be.
You can, and should, make a request in writing to be allowed to be accompanied at a consultation meeting. Your employer should reasonably consider it, even if it does not agree to it.
Emotions can run high at the prospect of redundancy, so try your best to remain calm and reasonable.
If you feel aggrieved or treated unfairly during the redundancy process you can raise a formal grievance [4.cited 18.10.21]
The benefit in raising a grievance regarding the redundancy process is that you have a statutory right to take either a colleague, a trade union representative, or an official employed by a trade union to a grievance hearing [5.cited 18.10.21]
It will mean you have added support in challenging any aspects of the process you are unhappy with or that you believe is unfair.