The number of expected redundancies has fallen to a record low last month despite the end of the furlough scheme looming.

The Government’s furlough scheme has acted as an essential lifeline for businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, helping many companies stay afloat.

However, there are currently no signs of a spike in redundancies, as figures reveal there were 12,600 planned job cuts in August. This is a significant 11 per cent drop from the 14,000 planned in July.

In June of last year, this was at a high of 155,600 planned job cuts.

Despite this, many had predicted the winding down of the furlough scheme would lead many employers to let go of workers.

Going forward, it is uncertain whether an autumn surge in redundancies will seem likely. However, the high labour demand and fewer people in the labour market, due to the pandemic and Brexit, may leave unemployment falling back over the next few months.

However, not every businesses will be able to retain every employee going forward.

If you are an employer and you are considering implementing redundancies, here are a few things to consider:

Why are you making redundancies?

If you plan to go ahead with this process, it is important to consider why your are making redundancies.

The usual fair grounds for redundancies follow the reasons below:

  • You have ceased carrying on the business for the purposes of which you employ someone
  • You have ceased to carry on the business in the location you employ someone
  • You no longer require your employees to carry out work of a particular kind
  • You no longer require your employees to carry out work in a specific location anymore
  • You aim to reduce the number of employees to cut business costs

Ensuring you meet legal requirements is crucial if your business is changing or closing.

Therefore, employers should ensure that they draw up a detailed plan, in advance, including the following:

  • Talking to your employees
  • Briefing all managers
  • Offering voluntary redundancy packages
  • Selecting which employees to make redundant and discussing why you cannot support their role
  • Providing notice period rights to selected employees
  • Giving employees the option to appeal
  • Preparing for stability after redundancy.

Please bear in mind that any job cuts in your business may lead to your existing workforce feeling anxious or uncertain about their own job security.

An ongoing dialogue between the employer and employees on the state of the business and its future can be extremely useful in preparing people for these difficult times. 

Ultimately, major restructuring or company re-organisations can pose lots of HR challenges.

At HR Caddy, our expertise enables us to take on the responsibility of managing and delivering specialist projects leaving you to concentrate on your key responsibilities and your business – such as redundancy programmes.

For more help or advice on related matters, please contact us today.