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Redundancy reforms designed to help businesses and employees

Posted: 8th January 2013   In: Business Employment

Redundancy regulations are being modified in a move designed to help both businesses and employees.

The main change is to reduce the minimum period before large scale redundancies can take place from 90 days to 45 days. This affects redundancy programmes involving more than 100 employees.

The Government will also legislate to make clear that fixed term contracts which have come to an end are excluded from obligations for collective consultation.

Acas will now introduce new guidance on how the changes will affect consultation requirements in collective redundancies.

The Employment Relations Minister, Jo Swinson, said: “The replacement of the current 90-day period to 45 days will still allow full employee engagement and offer employee representatives a statutory right to contribute to the process. The new 45-day period will be a minimum period, and businesses may consult for longer where appropriate.

“The process is usually completed well within the existing 90-day minimum period, which can cause unnecessary delays for restructuring, and make it difficult for those affected to get new jobs quickly.

“We want to improve the quality of consultations by making sure that there are tools available to help employers manage this process fairly and successfully to deliver the best possible outcomes for all parties. Acas will be working with stakeholders to produce non-statutory guidance that will be designed to help improve the quality of consultations.”

The changes are expected to be made by 6th April this year.

Please contact Robert Bedford for more information on the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to employment law.