In a collective redundancy situation, what should the workforce be consulted about?
Collective redundancy consultation should include discussions on how redundancies can be avoided. This can include identifying alternative working patterns, including short-time working and job-sharing, retraining, and pay freezes or cuts. Other topics for consideration include the pool from which employees will be selected for redundancy, the criteria for selecting employees, the timeline for effecting the redundancies, redundancy pay, outplacement provisions, and whether employees will be required to work during their notice period or be placed on garden leave.
The relevant definition of redundancy for the purpose of collective consultation is a "dismissal for a reason not related to the individual concerned". This includes the situation where an employer proposes to dismiss and re-engage employees who do not agree to a proposed variation of their contract. In this situation, consultation should cover the nature and timing of the proposed changes to terms and conditions, the reasons for the changes and the likely outcome if they are not made. The employer should consult on ways of avoiding or reducing any potential dismissals. It should attempt to reach agreement with employee representatives on the proposed changes, to avoid the need for dismissals.