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Case study

Employer support during redundancy process

Practice owner, Philip’s story

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What happened?

Philip (not his real name) contacted us because he wanted to remove the post of receptionist at his city centre practice, as a direct consequence of the pandemic causing a sharp fall in his practice income and his need to reduce overheads.

The post holder was on maternity leave, and due to return the following month but had contacted Philip to enquire whether she would be furloughed. During her maternity leave, her work had been covered by Philip, and a couple of students who worked a few hours a week on an ad hoc basis but who had been furloughed.

How we helped

We advised Philip that if there was a genuine redundancy situation he could dismiss for that reason. But he needed to follow a fair procedure to the letter to avoid any hint of discrimination or suggestion that the real reason was something else, and that included taking his student staff through the redundancy process too.

We assisted Philip with drafting all correspondence and advised him on the process ie, notifying all staff of potential redundancy; preparing an agenda for all his meetings with staff; first consultation meeting to inform, explain and invite proposals; letter to inform at risk and invite to second consultation meeting; and final decision letter.

We also advised Philip how to reply to the employee’s emails about furlough, explaining why he was considering redundancies now.

The outcome

Philip followed our advice, in particular the need to treat all staff the same. There was no question that the redundancy situation was genuine. All the staff responded well and, having had the situation explained to them, they were sympathetic to the difficult decision their employer had to make.

He was pleased with how his meetings went and how quickly and smoothly he was able to go through a stressful and difficult process.