Alternatives to Redundancy for Employers
Responsible employers will be looking ahead to after the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to an end on 30 April 2021 and making plans for their workforce and the needs of their businesses.
Update: The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. Find out about the changes that will come into effect from 1 July 2021 here.
Circumstances may be such that employers have no choice but to consider making redundancies but here is a checklist of potential alternatives to redundancy one or more of which employers may wish to consider if they envisage having difficulty funding redundancy payments or they wish to retain a skilled and experienced workforce in the expectation that the economy will improve following the pandemic:
- implementing a recruitment freeze; withdrawing job offers or deferring new joiners;
- reducing reliance on agency, temporary or casual staff;
- offering secondments or redeployment of staff;
- offering sabbaticals or unpaid leave to staff;
- offering part-time or flexible working to staff;
- implementing a pay freeze or ban on overtime;
- reducing hours or implementing short-time working;
- reducing pay, benefits or bonuses;
- introducing salary sacrifice or changing pension arrangements.
When considering these possibilities, it is very important for employers to realise that each of the above alternatives raises legal issues and may give rise to legal claims against them if, for example, any actions taken are discriminatory or they contravene existing contractual arrangements in place with employees or workers. For this reason, it is firmly recommended that specific legal advice is taken before employers decide how best to proceed when considering their options.
The ACAS website contains a wealth of information and here is the link to the ACAS advice page:
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This blog was originally prepared on 21 January 2021 and updated 28 May 2021. It is not intended to be advice and should not be relied upon as such.