Redundancy Rant

“I don’t want to go through the hassle of dismissing him, I’ll just make him redundant”

A bit of a rant this but I hear this all the time, it’s a bit like saying I don’t want 6 I want half a dozen. If you make someone redundant you are dismissing them, and possibly in the most risky way as far as an employment tribunal is concerned.

Redundancy is very tightly defined in law as a “reduction in the need for work of a particular kind in a particular place” if you make someone redundant for any other reason, particularly if it is because someone is not performing up to standard. You are booking yourself a week in an employment tribunal which can be even less comfortable than a budget airline flight to Malaga in the Summer Holidays!

Often employers think that making someone redundant is the kinder option, but at the end of the day the employee can be just as disgruntled at being made redundant for a fabricated reason as they are if they are sacked for being incompetent. The problem is that if the dismissal is challenged in court and it is found that there was no redundancy the employee could end up with a big pay out even if they were the most workshy and unreliable human being you have ever come across. In fact it can be legally safer to tell someone they are workshy and unreliable than to gently coach them through the clichés that are often used in the redundancy process.

You say “It’s not you that is redundant it’s the job” they think “Ahh so it’s the job that will be claiming Job seekers allowance and polishing up the CV”

You say “It’s nothing you’ve done and we are sorry to have to do this” they think “Oh so the daily B******ings for being late and not doing my job were a sign of respect”

So I’ll end this post/rant with a plea to employers, if someone is not up to the job or is unreliable tell them and bite the bullet early on in their employment and be honest with them from the outset, not only will you reduce the risks at employment tribunal but you will be showing your other staff that the work they do is important and that you cannot afford to carry passengers.

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