Home > About Redundancy > Does Consultation Always End in Redundancy?

Does Consultation Always End in Redundancy?

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 5 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Consultation Employer Staff Redundant

When an employer plans to make staff redundant they must enter into a consultation with those affected.

A firm will normally place you in consultation if they are thinking of making you redundant but are trying to think of an alternative, such as redeployment or a pay freeze or cut.

What is Consultation?

The aim of consultation is to find ways to avoid the firm making redundancies or reducing the number of redundancies involved. Employers must enter into consultation with a spirit of co-operation and be willing to listen to the views of their employees. In an ideal world both employee and employer will work together to find an alternative to redundancy.

At the start of the consultation process an employer must provide you with written details of the following:

  • Why redundancies need to take place
  • The number of jobs at risk
  • How they plan to select redundancies
  • How long the consultation period will last
  • What you will be entitled to at the end of the redundancy period
It will depend on individual employers as to whether they require you to work during your consultation period or not. Some employers will have it written into your contract that you need to still come into work, while others will not make you.

If an employer says you don’t need to come in it is normally a good indication of what their thinking is about your future job. If they are determined to keep you and find an alternative to redundancy it makes sense that they would want to keep you up-to-date and working right through until the consultation period is over.

Collective Consultation

If your employer is planning to make 20 or more employees redundant within a 90-day period, they should consult with employee representatives, this could be a trade union representatives or elected employee representatives instead, this is known as collective consultation.

They must also notify the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.If there are to be between 20 to 99 redundancies consultation must start 30 days before the first redundancy. It must start 90 days in advance where there are 100 or more proposed redundancies.

Individual Redundancy Consultation

If an employer only plans to make one member of staff redundant or less than 20 they should still consult employees individually regardless of the number they plan to make redundant. This will normally involve them speaking to you directly about why you have been selected and looking at alternatives for redundancy.

Special Circumstances

There may be some cases where it is not reasonably practicable for an employer to meet the full requirements of the consultation process, for example if the firm is being put into liquidation or administration.

If the company is in serious financial difficulty it might need to make redundancies quick so it will make them on the spot. They might be able to justify this in an employment tribunal because they will argue it was for the good of the company.

Where redundancy is inevitable a consultation process will also not be necessary, if it is a small company which is only making a few redundancies and there is no chance of an alternative being found, the company could also argue it was in the best interests of the company to not have a consultation period.

What Happens When Consultation is Over

When your employer has finished their consultation they are obliged to tell you in writing what decision they have made. If you are to be made redundant they must give you the reasons why in writing,

Once the consultation period is over your employer will not have to give you any notice of your redundancy and they can make you redundant on the spot.

If at the end of our consultation period your employer decides to not make you redundant you will go back to work as normal.

Consultation does not always end in redundancy and in many cases employers will place more staff than is necessary in consolation so they can be seen to be taking a fair and responsible approach to redundancies. But when an employer does place people into redundancy it will almost always results in some redundancies being made.

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[Add a Comment]
Lee - Your Question:
I have recently found out that the retail store I work for has gone into a 45 day consultation period which involves redundancies though I have not been told about it personally l, informal discussions have been taking placeI have worked at this store for 12 years and have good attendanceCould someone give me some advice or opinion on how to handle this situation thankyou

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can see more via the gov.uk link here , which will tell you all you need to know.
RedundancyExpert - 5-Dec-17 @ 2:18 PM
Hi I have been working for a very large company for 6 years, doing my present role for 3 years. There are 9 managers at my level and 4 weeks ago 3 of us were told we would need to attend an interview as they needed to go down to 2 managers in our region. We had the interviews 2 weeks ago and I was informed yesterday that I had been unsuccessful by a work colleague of the same level as myself. HR said they didn’t have a correct phone number for me. If they offer me a job at a lower grade but keep me on pay protection for 4 years do I have to accept it? The job is not in my region and would cause me a lot of stress as the travelling around the M25 is terrible. There is apparently no compulsory redundancies in my company, can they make me redundant if I refuse this lower grade job offer?
Sarny - 5-Dec-17 @ 11:39 AM
I have recently found out that the retail store I work for has gone into a 45 day consultation period which involves redundancies though I have not been told about it personally l, informal discussions have been taking place I have worked at this store for 12 years and have good attendance Could someone give me some advice or opinion on how to handle this situation thankyou
Lee - 4-Dec-17 @ 10:30 PM
StarGazer - Your Question:
My role is at risk of redundancy. Role is moving to a different location. Re-location offered but not attractive. 30-day consultation is underway. After consultation employer is insisting my termination date is 6 months away and I'm not entitled to redundancy if I leave earlier. Notice period 1 month. Is this correct? Seems unfair as an alternative job may well present itself in interim.

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here which will answer your question in full.
RedundancyExpert - 28-Apr-17 @ 10:06 AM
My role is at risk of redundancy. Role is moving to a different location. Re-location offered but not attractive. 30-day consultation is underway. After consultation employer is insisting my termination date is 6 months away and I'm not entitled to redundancy if I leave earlier. Notice period 1 month. Is this correct? Seems unfair as an alternative job may well present itself in interim.
StarGazer - 27-Apr-17 @ 7:40 AM
Myself a 4 others have just been informed that our posts are going to be cut and we are looking at a £10,000 a year pay cut and being placed on a different job description and role.Do we have to take the pay cut or can we push for redundancy?
Overworked - 20-Mar-17 @ 2:52 PM
Hi Just wondered if you can advise on this. Last year in October my employer instructed they will enter into a 45 day consultation. After this ended it was extended by another 2 weeks as there was talks that undisclosed companies were interested to buy 2 parts of the business. However nothing came to anything prior to Christmas and now nothing towards the end of January is really moving in any direction. I was told by HR that there is no time limit is this true? Also this employer still has their main company based abroad and is making this business close down over here in the uk, I take it they couldn't do anything silly in terms of literally lock the doors and not pay redundancies? Regards S
Simon - 24-Jan-17 @ 7:56 PM
Dazzler - Your Question:
My consultation period takes me 3 days over 2 years. Does this mean I qualify for redundancy?

Our Response:
Yes, you must have a continuous service of at least two years and your notice period would be included in this calculation.
RedundancyExpert - 15-Dec-16 @ 11:07 AM
My consultation period takes me 3 days over 2 years. Does this mean I qualify for redundancy?
Dazzler - 14-Dec-16 @ 7:45 PM
Pjc - Your Question:
Hello my daughter has work for a retail company for nearly 3years. And quite recently her branch as been pull up on loosing money.not meeting their target. However within a week or so after this discovery they all were call in and told that they are shutting the store down because they cannot afford the rent. All staff will be out of a job just after christmas. They were not reemploy nor is redundancy on the table. Some staff have work there for over 15years. This is the only branch that is being shut down and the numbers are small. They were offered 1 consultation. Can you give any advise on what are my daughters entitlement? Thank you

Our Response:
In this case, given the company has not gone into administration I suggest your daughter gives ACAS a call in order to explore her options and to see whether the company is working within the correct guidelines. As a normal rule, an employer will be entitled to statutory redundancy if they have been working for her current employer for two years or more.
RedundancyExpert - 14-Dec-16 @ 12:52 PM
Hello my daughter has work for a retail company for nearly 3years. And quite recently her branch as been pull up on loosing money...not meeting their target. However within a week or so after this discovery they all were call in and told that they are shutting the store down because they cannot afford the rent. All staff will be out of a job just after christmas. They were not reemploy nor is redundancy on the table. Some staff have work there for over 15years. This is the only branch that is being shut down and the numbers are small. They were offered 1 consultation. Can you give any advise on what are my daughters entitlement? Thank you
Pjc - 14-Dec-16 @ 10:38 AM
hi, i have been put into 4 weeks redundancy consultation... they are saying the no have a job starting in 6 weeks time.... can they stop the redundancy period and make me wait 6 weeks because somebody else told me the job offer and the job start dat has to both be within the 4 week redundancy period
laura.j. - 22-Nov-16 @ 10:27 PM
I am 7 days into my redundancy consultation period. My work are closing down this premises as they have stated it's not making money. Tonight I have come in and half the equipment has already been removed, can they do this?.
Anonymous - 21-Jun-16 @ 9:26 PM
I have been with a company 5.5 years, the first 2 years I was employed full time, then came back part time after maternity, my employer is saying I will only get redundancy for part time for the 5.5 years Iv been there, I would have thought I would get first 2 years at full time and remaining at part time. Can you please give me some help
Lisa - 6-Jun-16 @ 12:12 PM
As a worker in the oil and gas sector I can paper my walls with redundancy notices. I think I've done it 5 times now.The answer is no usually being put on notice does not end in redundancy. I have survived a few including one time the whole company was going to be shut. A mysterious man wandered into the office 2 days before the end of the three month period and bought us. However you have to ask what's bests or you. If you've got nearly the maximum continuity of employment you're best taking the money and running.Businesses can survive losing one or two people or the odd loss making department but once they start making near random across the board redundancies the party's over and it's time to start trying to get in a lifeboat rather than cling on to the Titanic for grim death.
MrAEMiller - 20-Dec-15 @ 8:18 AM
Phil - Your Question:
I was placed on 30 day consultation for redundancy but was pushed to take a new position I was advised that at any time with in the 3 month probation period I found this was not for me I could apply for the redundancy is this correct

Our Response:
This is a bit of a tricky question to answer as if your employer offers you a new job you are usually entitled for a four week statutory probationary period. Once the period ends, and you do not feel the job is suitable, then as a rule and if specified in your contract, then you will still qualify for a redundancy payment. However, here's the rub, if you think the new job is not suitable but your employer's opinion differs, and you are seen as unreasonably terminating the contract, then your employer may be able to refute your redundancy payment. Please, also be aware, that if you stay on after the trial period without notifying your company whether you have accepted or rejected the job, then by law you have accepted the position and would not be eligible for redundancy. Please see TUC WorkSmart advice, link here. I hope this helps.
RedundancyExpert - 20-Oct-15 @ 2:01 PM
I was placed on 30 day consultation for redundancy but was pushed to take a new position I was advised that at any time with in the 3 month probation period I found this was not for me I could apply for the redundancy is this correct
Phil - 19-Oct-15 @ 7:58 PM
My mum has been put on notice for redundancy and is currently in a consultation period. They're trying to save money by removing the level of management that she works at. It's already been made known to her that another lady under a different job title will be taking over her work. This woman has been copied in on emails about work that is going on now during the consultation period and today my mum was told that the woman would be starting on Monday before the consultation period is even finished. Is this legal? It's putting my mum under a lot of stress and she won't say anything to hr as she's worried it'll damage her chances of finding another job within the company.
Alex - 3-Jun-15 @ 11:41 PM
@Annon - I suggest you give Acas a call regarding this question, as it is rather complex. You can do so via the link here.
RedundancyExpert - 22-Apr-15 @ 2:09 PM
Hi and thanks is advance, it's two parts! We're part of a multi-national organisation, that's parented by an even larger multi-national organisation. All of our small team was put on consultation a couple of weeks ago, justification - ' lack of business'. Part 1 At individual meetings it became clear that the senior managers knew little of what we did or our business opportunities and in fact stated that this was the opportunity to find out. With that in mind they have tasked our manager (one of the ones at risk) with producing figures after figures to try to justify our positions. Every time we achieve one of these tasks (in our favour I might add) another is requested. Firstly is this fair, shouldn't their reason be justified prior to putting us on consultation? Even if they delve into annual figures, there are justifications which have either been previously forecasted (with no query) or highlighted to senior managers (with apparent full support). One of our issues was even caused by their decision to move individuals out of the team a month before this, it was heavily challenged at the time as it made no business sense other than to expose the team. Furthermore we are no worse than some of the other teams. Secondly can they make us justify our own positions in this way? I appreciate it's a consultation but surely the onerous should not solely be on us? Part 2 We were assured that redeployment opportunities within the larger business would be offered, and by registering with their system as 'at risk' we would be given priority status. However we have since learnt that a very suitable position has become available and has been offered externally, without it even being registered internally never mind flagged to us, is this legal?
Annon - 20-Apr-15 @ 11:26 PM
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