I’ve been speaking to an employer who is finding making some staff redundant really difficult. This is an entirely normal response. Us lawyers who deal with redundancies all the time and probably sound a bit blase about it, could do with remembering that and making time for those adjusting to the subject.
Firstly, when you don’t particularly want to lose any staff, it is bound to be more difficult on an emotional level than dismissing someone who has committed gross misconduct or who is poor performing, who you may feel ‘deserves’ to go. It is well known that often those employees who aren’t made redundant suffer from a form of ‘survivor’s guilt’ when they think about their colleagues.
Secondly, where a business doesn’t normally make redundancies the process to be followed from a legal perspective can feel unfamiliar and an area where the company is less confident. That’s where we come in to guide them through.
At the beginning of the process, whilst it is a very good thing to plan ahead and try and consider what the pitfalls of following a particular route might be, what arguments the affected staff might raise and whether they might be fair, there does come a point at which you just need to start the process by making an announcement to staff. By not setting in stone what will happen thereafter you can then flex around any arguments that are raised and make changes as you go along.