Redundancy defined

Handling arrangements for releasing people through redundancy, retirement or dismissal is perhaps one of the more challenging and difficult areas of people management.

There is a statutory definition of redundancy, which comes from the Employment Rights Act 1996. It defines redundancy as happening when:

• the employer’s business has ceased or it intends to cease, or

• the employer has ceased or it is intended that he or she will cease business in a particular location, or

• there is less of a requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, either within the business as a whole, or in a particular location.

In other words, redundancy provides a potentially fair reason for dismissal when an employer’s circumstances change. Change can occur for a variety of reasons including relocation and strategic direction. However, employers will only be protected from unfair dismissal claims if redundancies are carried out properly.