Are you planning redundancies?
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – or furlough – may have been extended to 31 October 2020, but employers are already thinking about what their workforce might look like following the end of this subsidised period. Despite the government’s efforts to preserve jobs through the scheme, some employers are facing the reality that there may simply not be enough work for all their staff once furlough comes to an end.
According to a CIPD survey, one in four UK employers expect to make permanent redundancies because of the Covid-19 crisis. But those thinking this way need to remember that the usual rules surrounding redundancy continue to apply and, in the absence of further guidance from the government, have not been relaxed.
We already know of some employers who think that they can simply make those staff who have been on furlough the longest redundant, assuming that their roles are the least important. This is not a safe assumption.
Should it be necessary to make staff redundant, employers will need to ensure they follow the proper processes. How you behave and treat your employees – both those being made redundant and those unaffected – during this time of crisis can have a huge impact on how your company is perceived – by staff, suppliers and customers alike once things start getting back to normal.
Handling it without due care and attention will not only make an already stressful time for your employees that much more difficult, but it could also adversely affect how your business is viewed externally, and your ability to attract future talent.
And remember that employees can still seek to bring tribunal claims if the process is not handled well, so businesses should weigh up all their options carefully to prevent issues arising at a later date.