Supporting employees during redundancy

Support Staff During Redundancy

Redundancy can create difficult situations and conversations in your organisation.

You should think about how to support: 

  • employees at risk of redundancy
  • managers who are breaking the news
  • the people leading the consultation
  • employee representatives
  • staff that are staying on

It’s often forgotten that those staying on experience stress from seeing colleagues and friends being made redundant. They will also be part of a changing organisation and might feel uncertain about what the business and their roles will look like in future.

You can support staff by providing:

  • counselling
  • additional face-to-face meetings
  • help getting financial advice
  • clear plans for the future of your organisation
  • help finding work for another company

Help staff find another job or training

You must allow staff a reasonable amount of time off to look for another job or training if:

  • you’re making them redundant
  • they’ve worked for 2 full years (including the notice period)

Paying staff who take time off to look for another job

You must pay employees who take time off to look for new work. The most you need to pay for the whole notice period is 40% of one week’s pay. This is the total amount and not the amount per week.   

For example, if an employee gets paid £500 a week for a 5-day working week, the most you would have to pay them for their time off is £200 (40% of their weekly pay). This stays the same even if they take more than 2 days off.

Contact Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus offers a ‘Rapid Response Service’ to help people get straight back into work. They can also help employees write or update CVs.

To get help using the Rapid Response Service email:

You need to include in the email:

  • your contact details
  • the town and postcode your business is based in
  • the location of the redundancies

They can also give you useful information about finding work to pass on to your staff.  

Support the people breaking the bad news

You should make sure that anyone breaking the news to staff:

  • understands in detail the organisation’s plans
  • knows why redundancies are being made
  • is trained (at least in how to hold difficult conversations)
  • is not over-worked (their role often involves long hours)
  • has a group of colleagues they can turn to for support
  • understands the support they can get from trade unions      

Staff will have lots of questions about what’s happening – it’s important the person telling them they’re being made redundant understands the changes and plans in detail.

Line managers often have to break the news to staff about redundancies. You should give line managers training and support to help them manage these difficult conversations.  

They can then offer support and help to staff who are being made redundant. This in turn helps staff who are staying on believe that the organisation has dealt with the situation fairly and will be a good place to work in the future.  

If the situation is handled in the right way it can make a big difference to:

  • how staff react and cope with being made redundant
  • the morale of staff who are staying on
  • the success of the planned changes and future of the organisation

Need help managing redundancies? Contact Beagle HR today for expert HR advice and support

This article has been adapted from the ACAS website