An Employer must tread carefully when considering redundancy. In order to let an employee go on the grounds of redundancy it is necessary to prove one of the following:
- The employer has stopped or intends to stop carrying on the business for which the employee was employed.
- The type of work the employee carried out has stopped or diminished.
- The employer has decided to carry on the business with fewer employees by either requiring the work to be done by other employees or otherwise.
- The employer has decided that the work for which the employee had been employed should be done in a different manner for which the employee is not sufficiently qualified or trained.
- The employer has decided that the work for which the employee had been employed should be done by a person who is also capable of doing other work for which the employee is not sufficiently qualified or trained.
Be very careful with 3, 4 and 5 as the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) interprets these very narrowly.
Once you establish that there is a genuine redundancy, an employer must also show that a fair method of selection was used in deciding which employee is made redundant. In particular, the WRC has specified that employers consult their employees of impending redundancy and also endeavour to identify alternative employment for the employee within the company.
In order to minimise exposure under unfair dismissal law, and employer should be able to show that fair procedures were applied, both in reaching the decision to make someone redundant and in adopting a fair selection procedure.
The employer should investigate all means of avoiding redundancy, including alternative work in the business.
The employee should be warned of impending redundancy.
The employee must be provided with an opportunity to give reasons as to why they should be kept on.
If you have any questions regarding redundancies, contact Helen Coughlan on 045 431542.