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HR tip: Timing of redundancy notice

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Question:

"We have to make a number of people redundant and are required to consult collectively for at least 30 days. Some of the people have long service and therefore long notice entitlements. Can we issue notice letters as we begin to consult? We can always withdraw them if necessary."

HR tip:

The purpose of collective consultation is to try to avoid redundancies; failing that, reduce the number of people affected; and, failing that, cushion the blow on people. Following that you need to go through a fair and objective selection process. If you issue notice letters before both these exercises are completed a court will infer that you had made up your mind at the outset who was to be dismissed and the following exercises were just charades. The court will then compensate the employees affected at enormous cost to you. Follow the procedure. It is there for a sound purpose.

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