Dealing with Redundancy
There is no set procedure to properly carry out a redundancy(ies). However, there are certain recognised stages and principles. Furthermore there are a number of information, consultation and notification requirements.
1. There must be consultation by the employer with the employee in advance of any decision to make an employee(s) redundant. This would involve the employer explaining the rationale for the proposed redundancy(ies) to the employee(s), inviting a response from the employee(s), and considering that response before making a decision vis-à-vis the redundancy(ies).
2. The employer must also ensure that there has been a fair selection of which employee(s) are to be made redundant. This also involves consultation with employee(s), making them aware that they are being considered for redundancy and the criteria (which must be fair and non-discriminatory) to be applied to select which of them will be made redundant so that they can make appropriate representations in their own favour.
3. It is important to be aware that even where a genuine redundancy situation exists, a resultant dismissal for redundancy can constitute an unfair dismissal if fair procedures (including fair selection) have not been followed. This usually exposes an employer to a potential claim of up to 2 years remuneration.
4. Employers must also comply with certain notification/consultation requirements to employees and to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment at least 30 days in advance of any collective (large scale) redundancies (i.e. being at least 5 redundancies in an organisation employing at least 20 employees, 10 redundancies where there are 50-100 employees, 10% of employees being made redundant where there are 100-300 employees, and 30 redundancies where there are more than 300 employees).
5. Finally, legislation has recently (2006) been enacted which requires employers of organisations with at least 100 employees (and 50 employees post-23/3/08) to inform and consult with their employees regarding matters which directly affect those employees. This arguably includes those matters which could give rise to redundancies.
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