How to be sensitive when making employees redundant
While it’s impossible to make employees feel completely comfortable with being made redundant, there are lots of ways you can be sensitive to their feelings. Dismissals are never easy, particularly when the staff who are leaving are hard workers and valuable additions to your business. But if your changing business needs have made redundancies unavoidable, it’s time to start thinking about how to break the news.
Whether you’re attempting to navigate the process alone or are looking to enlist the help of TUPE solicitors, this blog can help you to offer some much-needed support to members of staff who are finding this time especially difficult.
Give plenty of notice
Redundancy regulations already require you to notify employees that they’re at risk of being made redundant, but try to give staff as much time as possible to adjust. Making an employee redundant with very little notice can put them in a difficult situation, especially if they need to find a new job. While it’s not always possible to know if redundancies are necessary well in advance, start making preparations as soon as possible once the situation is clear.
Think about your words
While it’s easy to give out redundancy notices that are direct and to the point, there’s no harm in softening the news a little bit. Work closely with your HR department to find the best way of letting staff know their jobs could be at risk. It’s true that you will have to send out legally compliant notices, but consider having an in-person meeting so employees can ask questions and feel somewhat reassured.
Offer on-going support
From the moment employees find out redundancies are a possibility there will be a lot of unease amongst your workforce. It’s smart to offer counselling throughout this process, continuing to support staff even after they’ve left your company. Lots of businesses even help staff members to secure future employment, whether that’s through companies you’re partnered with or by holding a CV workshop.
Try to avoid involuntary redundancies
Some redundancies might be unavoidable, but asking employees if anyone is open to voluntary redundancy can save your workforce a lot of emotional distress. Some employees who are preparing to retire or move on from their current role might be more than happy to accept redundancy, so make sure you put the offer out there. It can also be worth bringing in an external accountant or financial advisor who might be able to help you avoid any dismissals. But if your business is undergoing some serious restructuring, this might not be possible.
Hire a lawyer
There’s nothing worse than making people redundant unfairly. Not only will it cause more stress for employees that are affected, but it will cause complications for your business as well. Hiring a lawyer or solicitor that specialises in workplace affairs can help you iron out any issues from giving notice to paying employees a fair redundancy cheque.
Making people redundant is never easy, but with these tips, you’re sure to have a much smoother process on your hands.