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How to navigate your way to safely making someone redundant

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It’s easy enough to talk about redundancy as a process. There are clearly defined stages, including a checklist of tasks to be completed. Ultimately, there are boxes to tick and it can be made to sound pretty basic. But if you dig deeper as you always should, you will find that redundancy is anything but basic and is a process that is essential to get right. Redundancy should be the last resort not the first.

Making Someone Redundant – What Does it Mean?

Making someone redundant is the process of being dismissed from your job due to the employer needing to reduce the workforce. Figures from ACAS show that 1 in 5 employers are likely to make staff redundancies over the next year. Inflation and interest rates are on course to keep rising, and employers need to make cuts where they can.

Whilst redundancy can happen for a number of reasons, it’s never a pleasant conversation to have with your staff. Our advice is to be prepared and informed on the correct processes for redundancy, to get it right. 

Early Stage Planning

The first thing to do is to be clear about the reason(s) why you need to make one or more roles redundant so that you can communicate these effectively with your staff.
It is key to remember that you’re looking at the roles you need to make redundant, not who will be dismissed as a result. If the employee must be dismissed because their role is redundant, they are dismissed by reason of redundancy.
Ask yourself: why is redundancy being considered?

  •  Is there a turndown of work?
  • Has your business been closed and you can’t carry on paying staffing costs?
  • Is there a restructuring of the business planned?
  •  Is there a tidy-up before a sale?
  • Is it a genuine redundancy situation or is it engineered to overcome poor performance or attendance?
  • Who is being selected for redundancy – which roles?
  • When do you propose starting the redundancy?
  • Where is the redundancy going to be affected?

Redundancy Selection Pool

Get the pool of selection wrong and the likelihood is you will be paying out money in compensation for getting it wrong.  Therefore, it is critically important to get this right because you may have the perfect process, but if you get the fundamentals wrong at the beginning, it can fall apart.

An employer should begin by identifying the pool of selection or the selection pool.  This is a group of people who have been identified as potentially redundant. It is important to ensure you are filling your selection pool with the right people. 

Sometimes it is pretty easy for example if it is a pool of one, but even with a pool of one, you must proceed with extreme caution because this could still potentially be the incorrect pool. However, the selection pool stage becomes less straightforward when roles cross departments or locations etc.

The redundancy selection pool cannot discriminate against any protected qualities as shown below:

Gender reassignment

  • Sex
  • Race
  • LGBTQ+
  • Pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Marriage and civil partnership

What is a Redundancy Consultation?

A redundancy consultation, or redundancy meeting, is usually held over several dates and is a discussion between the employer and the employee. The employees selected who are at risk of redundancy have a right to be consulted. A redundancy consultation meeting gives the employer and employee the chance to discuss everything concerning the proposed redundancy. As an employer, the redundancy consultation you provide gives your employee the chance to discuss why they’re being made redundant, the process and the possible outcomes.

There are two different types of redundancy consultation: individual and collective. These differ in their structure and timeframe:

Reach out About Redundancy, Today

Getting this process right is crucially important to both the employee and the employer. Stay nimble; redundancy is a journey with ups and downs.

The process of making someone redundant isn’t pleasant for the employee but is also unpleasant for the employer. We, at HR:4UK, are here for you. We support business owners across the UK and want you to be the next.

We strive to protect businesses, with expert and professional HR support to ensure that you get it right.

Allow yourself to focus on your business and consult with HR:4UK today for better guidance through the redundancy process. Call us on 01455 444222 or email

Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.