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Redundancies, restructuring and insolvency

Although most Covid related legal restrictions have now ended, many employers may be considering how to manage the longer term impact of Covid-19.

No employer wants to make redundancies but if this an option on the table for your business, our Inbrief summarises some of the alternative options and examines how to avoid falling foul of the legal procedures and obligations that might come into play in a redundancy process.

Employers need to be mindful of the usual redundancy requirements such as collective consultation obligations, fair selection criteria and avoiding discrimination, and they will also need to adapt to the challenges of holding online consultation meetings while many workers are furloughed, self-isolating or working remotely (see our FAQs on post-Covid restructuring). This article discusses how you may plan an exit strategy from furloughing and other measures taken to date - including reducing headcount by implementing redundancies and forcing through adverse changes to terms and conditions. The legal penalties for getting it wrong are significant: protective awards of up to 90 days’ full pay, unfair dismissal claims, and claims for uncapped damages for discrimination.

In conjunction with our international colleagues, we have produced a useful guide on restructuring for international employers and have further information on our international page. We have an experienced team available to provide comprehensive legal and HR support in the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong, as well as internationally through our alliance with Ius Laboris. In addition to our team of specialist employment lawyers, we can leverage our team of HR consultants to support meetings and assist trade union and worker representative body negotiations. To find out how we can support you with redundancy and restructuring matters, please visit our service page.

Further reading

Contract breaking up is never easy


07 April 2022

This Inbrief looks at how employers can minimise the risk of legal claims when dismissing employees by reason of redundancy.


Restructuring the workplace post Covid-19 - FAQs for employers

25 February 2022

As the furlough scheme has now ended, some employers are focused on cost-saving measures in the face of ongoing economic challenges.


I’m still standing - should employers set up a standing body for collective consultation?

10 March 2021

Employers may have to contemplate difficult decisions as they look ahead to the lasting effects of the pandemic, including potentially making redundancies. This article discusses whether now might be an opportune time for employers with no recognised trade union to set up a standing body for collective consultation purposes.

Contract breaking up is never easy

Collective redundancy consultation – do you need to look back before moving forward?

02 December 2020

A recent European Court of Justice ruling suggests that employers should look at a “rolling” 90-day period when ascertaining whether collective redundancy consultation is required. While this has potentially significant implications, the end of the Brexit transition period may limit its fallout.


Information and consultation

10 July 2020

Employers with at least 50 employees can be required to establish arrangements for informing and consulting their employees on business developments. These arrangements are commonly called ‘works councils’.


Insolvency and TUPE

21 May 2020

This Inbrief aims to guide you through the law on transfers of undertakings (TUPE) in the context of an insolvency, summarising the main employment considerations.


Collective redundancies

05 May 2020

Most employers are aware of the procedures that have to be followed when making someone redundant (or their job, to be more precise).

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