The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) today published new guidance to help employers deal effectively with collective redundancies.
Collective redundancies are when employers consider making 20 or more employees redundant within a 90 day window. This situation might occur if the employer, for example:
- Needs to close/move all or part of the firm
- Reorganise the structure of the business
- Cut costs due to reduced demand or increased competition
New legislation comes into effect today (April 6) which applies to employers proposing 100 or more redundancies – employers must start consultations at least 45 days prior to the earliest dismissals, a reduction from 90 days.
The new Acas guidance will help employers understand what they must do to stay compliant with redundancy legislation. It also sets out principles and behaviours behind a good quality consultation.
Acas Chair Ed Sweeney said:“This new guidance draws on our knowledge, expertise and experience in helping to resolve the thousands of workplace disputes every year.
“In 2011/12 11 percent of Acas’ collective conciliation cases related to redundancies and of the 925,000 calls to our helpline, around 20 per cent were seeking information on redundancy-related situations.
“This guide will help employers and employees understand the recent changes and the new laws around collective redundancies with top tips on how to handle them.”
Acas recommends that in order to manage collective redundancies fairly, employers must have:
- Good working relationships with employees, unions and employee representatives
- Agreed procedures for handling redundancies
- An organisational culture that recognises the emotional as well as economic impact of change
- A plan for restructuring and looking to the future
The new Acas guidance “How to manage collective redundancies” can now be downloaded from the Acas website.