In December, Mercer undertook a survey that showed 35% of international firms expected to make substantial redundancies in 2009.

The survey was of 1,000 HR and finance professionals. Manufacturing and technology workers appear to be in the worst position; with 48% of those responding saying they expected to reduce their workforce significantly. 24% of professional services firms and 28% in retail and wholesale also expect cuts.

We have rarely had so many enquiries from clients letting people go in the current economic environment. Many are concerned about the complex procedures they must follow and indeed recognizing this complexity, the Government is simplifying the process of termination of employees’ employment contracts. However, those changes are not in force until 6th April. In the meantime it is essential to follow the three-step procedure laid down.

If someone is truly redundant then they will be entitled to a redundancy payment, although these are set fairly low and based on statutory rates. However, some employers choose to offer a more generous package, particularly where they are seeking to persuade employees to leave. You may well also need to consult with unions so always take advice well in advance.

Please telephone Debbie Mactaggart at Jordans Solicitors on 01924 387110 if you need advice on this or other employment law issues.

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