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Problems at Work

Redundancy consultation

Q. I am one of five employees in a small business and have been put at risk of redundancy and told by my employer that he is entering into a period of consultation. In the initial meeting he explained why I was the only person put at risk of redundancy and has made it perfectly cleat that I will be losing my job, so what is the point of consultation?

A. Parliament’s intention of a period of consultation is to enable the employer and the employee to consider what if any alternatives there are to redundancy and should start prior to any decision being made by the employer to make redundancies. The intention is to have a dialogue between employer and employee to consider what alternatives may be available, such as the employee agreeing a reduction in salary or changing their working hours or working practices, or perhaps taking on additional responsibilities. If there is no meaningful consultation the employer may find it difficult to justify there was a fair redundancy process and leave himself open to a successful claim for compensation for unfair dismissal.

Martin Bloom, partner.

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