For Business

Redundancy and Restructuring Solicitors

Redundancy and Restructuring Solicitors

Redundancy and reorganisation are challenging for any employer, with a clearly defined process you need to work through on top of the personal impact of making these difficult decisions.

Getting the right legal advice can help to ensure you deal with these matters fairly, while protecting your organisation from the risk of employment claims.

At BakerLaw, our Employment and HR team is highly experienced in guiding employers through dealing with redundancy and restructuring. We can guide you through the entire process, advising on your legal obligations and the appropriate steps to take to protect against any potential for claims for unfair dismissal or other employment disputes.

Our redundancy and reorganisation solicitors can advise on matters including:

  • Making redundancies
  • Settlement agreements
  • Individual consultation
  • Collective consultation
  • Furloughing staff
  • Reorganisation and restructuring
  • TUPE

We are here to make navigating this difficult time as straightforward and risk-free as possible, allowing your organisation to focus on moving forward.

For expert redundancy and reorganisation legal advice from our experienced Employment and HR team, please get in touch.

You can contact your local BakerLaw office or email us at enquiries@baker-law.co.uk.

Our expertise with redundancy and restructuring

Making redundancies

There are various reasons you might be having to contemplate redundancies, including a reduction in business, changing needs of your organisation, the closure of a particular workplace or even insolvency. Whatever the situation, you need to follow the right redundancy process to keep things fair and avoid the potential for claims of unfair dismissal.

Our redundancy solicitors can support you every step of the way, from notifying employees of the risk of redundancy, through selecting the right criteria for redundancy and taking steps (such as using settlement agreements) to head off potential employment disputes.

We can explain the process and steps that employers should follow, calculate employees’ statutory or enhanced redundancy entitlements and deal with any agreement which you require your employees to sign setting out the terms agreed.

We can also advise on the interplay between redundancy and any restrictions in the employees’ Contracts of Employment restricting their activities post-termination.

Settlement agreements

Settlement agreements can provide security for employers during redundancy proceedings by securing the agreement of an exiting employee that they will not seek to make an employment claim, usually in exchange for a one-off payment.

Our redundancy solicitors can advise you on whether a settlement agreement is suitable for your situation, then assist with the process of drafting an agreement and getting it signed where required.

Find out more about our expertise with settlement agreements.

Individual redundancy

If you are considering making less than 20 employees in the same workplace redundant, you must individually consult with each employee after you have placed them at risk of redundancy. There are additional obligations and duties you must meet up to the end of their employment.

Our redundancy solicitors can advise on the obligations and duties which employers have minimising the risk of a successful employment claim. As an organization, you will undoubtedly be wanting to move forward and focus on the future without having to spend time defending an employment claim which could be costly to the organization.

Collective redundancy

If you are placing 20 or more employees in the same workplace at risk of redundancy, this is referred to as ‘collective redundancy’ and there are additional obligations you must meet.

Our redundancy solicitors can guide you through the collective redundancy process, making sure you follow all the applicable rules and that the redundancies are made in a fair way that does not open you up to the possibility of employment claims.

Furloughing staff

If you have furloughed staff or need to furlough staff as a result of the current coronavirus lockdown, it is important to take specialist advice to ensure you are doing so in full compliance with the terms of the government furlough scheme.

Our employment lawyers can advise on the process for furloughing staff and make sure you do so the right way to avoid the risk of employment claims or accusations of furlough fraud.

Find out more about our expertise with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough).

Reorganisation and restructuring

Where you need to change employees’ job roles, places of work, pay or other benefits, this is something you will need to take specialist advice on. Depending on the nature of the changes, they could effectively place employees at risk of redundancy if they were unable or unwilling to agree to the changes to their terms of employment.

If you wish to reorganise the business, perhaps due to technological or other changes, we can advise you on your employees’ rights and your responsibilities when dealing with a reorganisation or restructure.

Our employee reorganisation solicitors can advise on the correct approach to changing employees’ terms of employment, helping you to do this the right way to increase the likelihood of acceptance and decrease the risk of any potential employment claims.

TUPE

If you are transferring employees to a different business, such as in a merger or takeover, you must do so in line with the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, commonly referred to as ‘TUPE’.

Our employment lawyers can advise you on how TUPE applies to your situation and make sure you comply with all of the regulatory requirements when making employee transfers.

Find out more about our expertise with TUPE.

Redundancy and restructuring explained

What is a redundancy?

Redundancies are a form of dismissal which can take place when the requirement for an employee’s job no longer exists, or there is a workplace or office closure.  

What redundancy process do I need to follow?

The law dictates that employers should follow a process when dealing with redundancies. If an employer fails to follow a fair process the dismissal may be unfair. Employers can make compulsory redundancies or ask if there are any volunteers for redundancy.

There are strict rules around issues such as:

  • How much notice you need to give employees that they are at risk of redundancy
  • What reasons you can use to select employees for redundancy
  • Whether you need to pay redundancy pay and how much this should be
  • Making 20 or more employees redundant
  • Making 99 or more employees redundant

It is strongly recommended that you seek specialist legal advice when making redundancies to ensure that you comply with all of the legal requirements set out by the government or redundancy laws.

We can explain the process and steps that employers should follow, calculate employees’ statutory or enhanced redundancy entitlements and deal with any agreement which you require your employees to sign setting out the terms agreed.

We can also advise on the interplay between redundancy and any restrictions in the employees’ Contracts of Employment restricting their activities post-termination.

Can we be taken to an employment tribunal for making someone redundant?

Yes, this is a possibility if you do not follow the correct process for making redundancies or if redundancy or a reorganisation is not the real reason for the dismissal. However, if you follow the correct process and the redundancy is made in a fair way, then there should be no grounds for an employment claim.

Key points for a redundancy to be considered fair are that the employee must be:

  • Given appropriate notice that they are at risk of dismissal
  • Selected fairly for redundancy
  • Allowed reasonable time off to look for a new job or undertake training
  • Offered alternative employment within your organisation wherever possible

To avoid the risk of an unfair dismissal claim in connection with a redundancy, you should always consult a specialist employment lawyer when going through redundancy proceedings.

It is often a good idea to use a settlement agreement to manage the exit of an employee you are making redundant as this can preclude the possibility of their bringing a claim.

Do we need to pay redundancy pay?

If an employee being made redundant qualifies for redundancy pay, then you will need to pay this to them.

An employee will be eligible for redundancy pay if they:

  • Are classed as an employee (i.e. they have a contract of employment with you)
  • Have worked for you for at least 2 years continuously
  • Have been dismissed or put on reduced hours

How much you need to pay will depend on the employee’s length of service and their age during those years as follows:

  • 1.5 weeks’ full pay for each full year during which they were employed by you following their 41st birthday
  • 1 week’s full pay for each year during which they were employed by you following their 22nd birthday up until their 41st birthday
  • 0.5 weeks’ full pay for each year in which they were employed by you before their 22nd birthday

Any redundancy pay owed should be paid either at the point where the employee is made redundant or as soon as reasonably possible afterwards.

Our redundancy and restructuring legal advice fees

For any business facing the prospect of making redundancies, cost is likely to be a key consideration. However, the cost of not getting the very best legal advice can easily end up being much higher in the long run if you find yourself on the receiving end of an employment claim.

At BakerLaw, we aim to make our pricing fair and transparent, so our clients can get expert redundancy advice while being confident they are getting real value.

Where possible, we will act on a fixed fee basis (e.g. for drafting a settlement agreement or providing independent advice to an employee on the terms of a settlement). This will give you complete certainty over the costs involved.

Where you need ongoing support, we will typically charge a fixed hourly rate. In such cases, all work will be agreed in advance, so you stay in control of the costs at all times.

Find out more about our pricing.

Contact our redundancy and restructuring solicitors in Farnham

If you are an employer looking for clear, practical advice on dealing with redundancy and the reorganisation of your business, our expert employment law team can help.

Please contact our Employment team on 01252 733770 or email us.

 

How will Brexit affect employment laws?

Andrew Peters
  • Posted
  • Author

After the long-awaited separation of the UK from the European Union, you may be left wondering how employment laws could change and the affect it could have on managing your employees. From 31 December 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) can no longer...

How will Brexit affect employment laws?

Andrew Peters
  • Posted
  • Author

After the long-awaited separation of the UK from the European Union, you may be left wondering how employment laws could change and the affect it could have on managing your employees . From 31 December 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) can no...