British Home Stores, the well-known British department chain, is sadly facing its possible demise and is set to file for administration today. today which could lead to thousands of staff facing redundancy.
Administration is a process that aims to gain control when a company is insolvent and facing serious threats from creditors. Administration is usually the last step before a business shuts down and professionals are brought in to try and save the business.
In this instance the closure of BHS means there could be up to 11,000 employees who could be made redundant. However, as we saw with Woolworths, each store location could be considered its own place of work thus signifying that each may have their own redundancy procedures.
Redundancies can occur in businesses of any size for a myriad of reasons, so it is important you get the procedure right.
If you believe that dismissing for redundancy is your only possible solution, then there are consultation periods you must adhere to.
Redundancy procedures must be covered over at least a two week period and must include at least three meetings. You should bear in mind that redundancy procedures are a two way street. As an employer, you have a duty to seek the opinion and input of your employees. You should carefully consider if your employee’s input can be used to avoid redundancies.
Redundancies should be a last resort and you should explore every alternative to dismissing for redundancy. Alternative measures can include other cost saving methods, voluntary redundancies and redeployment – whatever is most suitable for your business. Unfortunately for BHS, their filing for administration makes it tough to find an alternative to dismissing for redundancy.
If your business is looking at making redundancies of 20 or more employees, you will need to have a minimum consultation period of thirty days with recognised trade unions or elected employee representatives.
For businesses looking to dismiss 100 employees for redundancy reasons, there is a minimum consultation period of 45 days with recognised trade unions or elected employee representatives.
Redundancies are an unfortunate situation and can be stressful for all involved.