Redundancy

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Smoke lifts temporarily over Belgium’s occult period (and other questions about termination)

In a previous blog, in a world before the coronavirus hit Europe, we noted the social elections that Belgian employers have to organise in 2020 [here] for the appointment of employee representatives to the Works Council and Health & Safety Committee. Being a representative of that sort (and also being a candidate for that role) … Continue Reading

“The human race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television” – squaring lockdown with the Job Retention Scheme (UK)

A well-known term of the CJRS is that the employee shouldn’t while on furlough do any work for the employer or provide any services to it.  A simple enough proposition, one might think, despite the unknown pundit whose wise words appear above, but as with much of this Scheme, once you get down into the … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – first two weeks on the front line (UK)

As anyone who has spent the last fortnight trying to apply the Government’s CJRS knows, there is currently no actual law.  Bar some guidance clearly not written by employment or HR specialists (hence indiscriminate references to workers and employees, and use of “laid-off” to mean both put on leave without pay and made redundant), pretty … Continue Reading

Redundant for the day – how it feels to be let go

Redundancy. The word is enough to take the bounce out of anyone’s stride. For a business, it means undergoing a complicated process of selection, consultation, getting over all the practical hurdles that may pop up along the way and all the while somewhere at the back of your mind sits the uncomfortable prospect of a … Continue Reading

When Mummy doesn’t necessarily know best – mediation and maternity rights claims

At the end of my post on Maternity Action’s report on unfair redundancies, I mentioned a number of the reasons why many recent mothers do not raise complaints about their perceived treatment at the hands of their employer. These included a fear of creating bad feeling with their employer or colleagues, a lack of information, … Continue Reading

New proposals for post-Brexit maternity protection – use German law

Back in March 2016 I posted a piece querying the headlines over an Equalities and Human Rights Commission report on maternity and pregnancy discrimination at work. The short point was that the report did not justify the apocalyptic headlines about the treatment of women who were pregnant or on maternity leave. Looked at close up, … Continue Reading

Mental health and difficult meetings – how far can the employer insist?

Much has been written over the last month or so about Mental Health, and rightly so.  It has now overtaken back pain as the principal cause of workplace absence in the UK.  Anything which encourages an environment in which mental health issues may be more openly discussed and genuine sufferers’ sense of isolation or embarrassment … Continue Reading

The Japanese layoff that didn’t “fly”

As I wrote in this space last year, layoffs for economic circumstances exist under Japanese law, but are exceedingly difficult to achieve without constituting wrongful dismissal. One major international airline is learning this the hard way. Three years ago, the airline terminated three Japan-based employees in connection with the closing of its call center in … Continue Reading

Employer pension contributions count towards the calculation of a week’s pay

I have done my best to make this case report sound interesting and I like to think that even the most casual review of it will show that I have, well, failed. However, it is still important, especially for those involved in collective redundancy or TUPE consultations. Employers may need to revisit the potential cost … Continue Reading

Justification of Redundancy Following Disability-Related Absence

If because of your disability you are absent from work and if because of that absence your employer discovers that it doesn’t actually need you, does your resulting redundancy arise from your disability?  This is important because Section 15 Equality Act 2010 says that if A treats B unfavourably “because of something arising in consequence … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 6

Protecting your enhanced severance scheme Some employers pay only the statutory minimum entitlement on a redundancy dismissal, but others recognise that redundancy is a no-fault reason for termination and try to do something to sweeten an otherwise bitter pill.  Maybe this is no more than paying in lieu of notice without deduction of tax (for … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 5

Dealing with employee absences and grievances in redundancy consultation You’ve delivered the at risk letter and sent the employee home on pay pending the formal consultation meeting. As an HR professional it is possible that your faith in human nature has become a little corroded over time, so you are not completely surprised when what … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 4

Managing redundancy for those on maternity leave Many employers get nervous when carrying out redundancy exercises if the selection pool includes a woman who is pregnant or on maternity leave.  The risk of a claim for discrimination or an unfair dismissal claim if she is made redundant is often on their mind. The fact that … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, Part 1

Large-scale redundancies may not be happening (fortunately) to the same extent as in the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008 (and it’s too early to talk meaningfully about the possible implications of Brexit), but we are still often asked to advise clients in connection with smaller-scale redundancy exercises, often arising as a result of … Continue Reading

Turkeys come home to roost for City Link directors after Christmas redundancies

Three former directors of failed UK parcel delivery company City Link have recently been delivered the bad news that they will face criminal charges over redundancies made during the Christmas period last year.  They have been charged with failure to notify the Secretary of State of the proposed redundancy of City Link’s employees as required … Continue Reading

Tips for heated redundancy consultation meetings – keep your shirt on

Making staff redundant is a difficult and unpleasant part of any manager’s responsibilities, but you really don’t want to hear your employees baying “A poil, à poil!” (“Off with his clothes”!) when holding meetings to discuss job losses.  This is what happened to two Air France managers forced to flee what even by French standards … Continue Reading
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