Redundancy Process For One Employee

As an employer, you must adhere to various laws and regulations aimed at ensuring you treat your staff fairly, including when you are planning to make redundancies. The rules that apply to the redundancy process for one employee differ from those that apply when you are planning to make 20 or more employees redundant.

Here, our specialist HR advisors explain what redundancy is and describe the grounds on which you can lawfully make an employee redundant. We go on to discuss the key differences between the redundancy process for one employee and the process for 20 or more employees.

Call us now on 01491 598 600 or email us on and we will be delighted to help you.

What Is Redundancy?

Redundancy is a form of dismissal that arises when an employer no longer needs anyone to do the job for which the employee or employees in question are employed. Crucially, it is the role, not the employee, that is redundant.

What Are Lawful Grounds For Redundancy?

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, more commonly known as ‘ACAS’, sets out the situations in which you might be entitled to make an employee redundant. They include the following:

  • Your business is closing or has already closed.
  • Your business is changing the type of roles it needs employees to do, for example because you have decided to stop offering particular products or services.
  • Your business is reducing the number of people it needs to do specific roles, for example because you have introduced new processes to streamline your commercial operations or combined various job roles into one.
  • Your business, or the office the employees work in, is relocating.

If your grounds for making an employee redundant do not fall within those listed above, the employee may be justified in issuing a claim against your business for unfair dismissal.

What Processes Must Employers Follow When Making Redundancies?

There are specific circumstances in which employers may make an employee redundant without having to follow a specific process, such as if the employer is closing the business area the employee works in. In all other cases, an employer must hold redundancy consultations with the affected staff members. Consultations involve discussing and seeking agreement with the affected employees on matters including the following:

  • How you might avoid or reduce redundancies.
  • How you might reduce the impact of redundancy on those affected.

Consultations enable you, as the employer, to explore alternatives to redundancy, ensure you select the right employees for redundancy if it is unavoidable, and facilitate transparency. Unless specific circumstances exist, such as those referred to above, any redundancy you make without first holding a consultation will likely be unfair.

The consultancy process for one employee up to 20 differs from that where you propose making 20 or more employees redundant.

• Redundancy Process For 20 Or More Redundancies

If you propose making 20 or more redundancies within 90 days at a single establishment, you must hold a ‘collective consultation’. Under a collective consultation, you must consult with a recognised trade union or, if the employees are not represented by a trade union, elected employees about your proposed redundancy plans. The role of these individuals is to represent the affected employees’ interests during the redundancy process. They will do so by seeking the employee’s views on your proposals and obtaining their suggestions and input. They will present the employees’ response to you and engage in meaningful discussions regarding the redundancies with a view to solving problems and resolving issues fairly.

For redundancies involving 20-99 individuals, the consultation period must last for a minimum of 30 days before the first dismissal takes place. For redundancies involving 100 or more employees, the minimum consultation period before the first dismissal is 45 days. It’s important to note that these time periods are minimums. Your consultation process should last longer if you require more time to make a fair decision.

• Redundancy Process For One Employee To 20 Employees

The redundancy process for one employee to 20 employees need not involve a collective consultation. You only need to consult with each affected employee individually. Furthermore, there is no minimum consultation time stipulated by law. However, the consultation must be ‘meaningful’. The shorter your consultation period, the less likely it is to be deemed ‘meaningful’. If an affected employee subsequently brings unfair dismissal proceedings against you on the basis that your redundancy processes were unjust, you may struggle to persuade a tribunal that a particularly short consultation period afforded you enough time to make a fair and balanced decision.

At GAP HR, we specialise in helping small businesses, particularly owner-managed businesses, navigate the challenges presented by HR issues and employment law. We will guide you through the redundancy process, ensuring your actions are fair and unlawful and minimising the chances of your business facing an unfair dismissal claim.

Call us now on 01491 598 600 or email us on and we will be delighted to help you.

Redundancy Process For One Employee

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