Restructuring & Redundancies

Find out what you need to do when changes to a company structure and redundancies are required. 

How to restructure and make redundancies

There are many reasons why restructuring your business may be necessary. You may have suffered a downturn in business, have lost a key customer or you may simply want to cut your costs.

You will want to implement the required changes quickly and efficiently while also being mindful of the impact on individual employees.

You will need to consider:

  • Whether collective consultations with employee representatives are necessary - i.e. when making 20 or more redundancies at one location or establishment
  • How to manage collective and individual consultations
  • Calculating redundancy payments
  • Alternative employment - what are our obligations?
  • Do we need “pools” and selection criteria?
  • Confirming termination and dealing with Appeals
  • Without Prejudice discussions and Settlement Agreements

Whether you are looking to take the next steps towards restructuring your business or already have a concrete plan in mind, our specialist solicitors will be able to review your situation and help ensure that the process runs smoothly.

Restructuring & Redundancies

What is redundancy & restructuring?

Restructuring is a process whereby the internal roles in a business are organised in a more effective and efficient way. This may include creating new roles, merging existing roles, removing existing roles, or a combination of all these things. 

Redundancies will be required where the number of roles is reduced or perhaps where roles are changed significantly and the employees in those roles do not have the skills and attributes required to fulfil the changed roles.

When can an employer make redundancies?

An employer, can make redundancies whenever it wants to.
It may be that the issue arises because of a need or desire to cut costs or because the business is relocating or has suffered a downturn in orders.

For most employers making redundancies will be a last resort as it can be a difficult and risky process and expensive in terms of notice and redundancy payments.

These situations call for a professional approach, and with solicitors who understand this process thoroughly, you can make sure there are no hidden surprises or unexpected costs or claims.

What if an employee is not cooperating with the process?

Sometimes employees are not cooperative during redundancy consultations.

If there is no good reason for this, the employer can press on with the process without participation by the employee.
What if the employee is sick?

You would need to weigh the need to press on with the process (we may have to press on if a number of roles are at risk or if there is an urgent need to remove a particular role) against the seriousness and likely duration of the illness.
In most cases, where the health issue is not serious, the employer may delay consultations for a week or two but will then be entitled to bring the process to a conclusion.

Employers can offer employees a number of options for participation including in person, video call, telephone call, or in writing.


If you get it wrong, you could face expensive claims for unfair dismissal and/or discrimination, which could run on for 12-18 months.

For further information on the topic, get in touch.

"We have used Rayner Jones for employment law advice for several years.  They provide clear, practical and realistic advice and deal with any urgent matters very swiftly.  I would be happy to recommend Rayner Jones to employers looking for a friendly and reliable service."
288 Group

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