Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Crash Course in ... Handling Redundancies

Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Crash Course in ... Handling Redundancies

Article excerpt

Your CEO has just told the top team that 2006 is going to be a year of downsizing. Some operations will be moved, others shut down. Either way, the payroll is going to have to shrink. Time to find out how to organise a redundancy programme.

Plan ahead. 'You should be continuously thinking about what your people requirements will be,' says Rebecca Clake, of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development. 'You may be able to avoid making redundancies by natural wastage, re-training people or through imposing a recruitment freeze.'

It's not about slackers. When you announce redundancies, make it clear that it's not personal. 'Redundancy occurs when there is a cessation of business or a reduction of work; you have to assure people that it's not a reflection on them as an individual, but rather on their position,' explains Clake.

Let the people speak. If more than 20 are being made redundant in a 90-day period, you must consult the trade union or an employees' representative.

'Remember it's a consultation, not a negotiation,' says James Davies of employment lawyers Lewis Silkin. 'But you must be able to show that you have considered what they said in good faith.'

Be selective. Draw up selection criteria that reflect the attributes, skills and experience you will need in your organisation. Score all those in the frame against these criteria and, hey presto, the choice is made.

'The important thing is that it can be seen objectively to be fair,' says Davies. …

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