Redundancy & Consultations

How important are consultations in redundancy situations in cases taken regarding unfair dismissal ?.

If an employer has no consultation process, or one that is inadequate or unfair prior to the decision to dismiss an employee by reason of redundancy, a charge of having applied unfair procedures will likely be made against the employer.

Case officers endeavour to assess all of the facts and make decisions on the entirety of the facts, but it is nevertheless correct to say it is a persuasive argument when an applicant puts forward a case that an employer did not act reasonably in terms of procedural fairness regarding a redundancy dismissal, if an employer applied either no consultation process or an inadequate one by design or omission.

The timing of when the Consultations arose is also important when a case officer is considering procedural fairness in an unfair dismissals case.

Consultations prior to making decisions on redundancies are very important in such matters.

Many employees faced with redundancy, receive the ‘Decision’ rather than the ‘proposal’ from the employer.

On occasions it arises that an employer makes the decision to dismiss by redundancy and then begins starts discussions with the employee. This is imprudent.

Prior consultative engagement with the employee is important for adherence to fair procedures, and alternatives to redundancy should be explored prior to the decision to dismiss.

An employee should be asked to make proposals to avoid the job loss, and should be asked at a consultation meeting why the employee considers they should be retained and what alternatives can they provide.

Employers should be able to demonstrate a thorough exercise was considered by them regarding alternative options.

After an consultation process is undertaken, and after a decision on redundancy is made, the employer should afford the employee with an avenue of appeal.

If an unfair dismissals case is taken, and a case officer finds a genuine redundancy situation arose, the case officer may still conclude an unfair dismissal arose as a result of an procedurally unfair dismissal process.

The conduct of an employer in relation to a dismissal must be reasonable as is required by S.6(7) of the Unfair Dismissals Act.

If the conduct of an employer is not reasonable, a case officer may conclude the applicant employee was unfairly dismissed.

Disclaimer – Redundancy & Consultations Article

Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute. Legal advice should be sought from a solicitor prior to relying on anything in this article.

Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.

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