Making redundancies is stressful. Not only is it difficult to let good employees go, but there’s also a complicated legal process you must follow.
If you don’t follow the process completely, you risk facing unfair dismissal claims and costly legal fees.
There are several steps that you need to take when making redundancies. One of these is the consultation stage.
The consultation process is required when more than 19 employees are to be made redundant. It takes place after the selection process. It’s where you inform staff that you have chosen them for redundancy, explain the reasons and give them an opportunity to provide feedback. You do that with a redundancy consultation letter.
In this article, we’ll explain what the letter should include, why it’s important and the process to follow when issuing one.
And you can download our free redundancy consultation letter template at the end.
What is a redundancy consultation letter?
It’s a formal letter inviting an employee to a consultation meeting where you both will discuss a potential redundancy.
Before your consultation can begin, you need to inform everyone that you have selected for redundancy that a meeting will take place.
A consultation letter for redundancy should outline the process and set dates for the upcoming meeting.
When should I use a redundancy consultation letter?
It’s a legal requirement for you to provide a notice of redundancy consultation letter if you are making more than 19 redundancies.
If you are making 20 or more employees redundant, you’ll have to follow collective consultation rules.
Although it’s not required for fewer redundancies, it’s beneficial to provide a final redundancy consultation meeting letter no matter the number of employees. The letter allows staff to prepare any questions or suggestions on alternatives to redundancy, which will ensure your consultation meeting is meaningful.
Depending on the role being made redundant, there are two different times you would use a consultation letter:
- Provide the invite to redundancy consultation letter at the start of your redundancy process if you are making one employee in a unique role redundant and there is no need for a selection process.
- Send the letter inviting employees to a final redundancy consultation meeting after the selection process has been completed if there are multiple people being considered.
Why you should use a redundancy consultation letter
The consultation meeting is an important part of the redundancy process, and it needs to be done right.
As part of the consultation process, employers must consider:
- Alternatives to redundancy.
- Ways to reduce the number of redundancies made.
- How they can limit the difficulties to both those being let go and the staff that remain.
If you don’t hold a consultation, or the affected employee isn’t happy these conditions have been met, you could face unfair dismissal claims.
Providing a redundancy consultation letter sets out the scope of the meeting and makes sure employees have the time to prepare questions and suggestions.
What to include in a redundancy consultation letter
You might think a regular meeting request will be enough to inform your staff about an upcoming consultation, but there’s a lot of information your redundancy consultation letter needs.
Your letter should include:
- Why the employee is facing redundancy.
- Details of the selection criteria used.
- The reason the employee was selected.
- What to expect in the meeting.
- The dates and times of the meeting.
- The employee’s rights during, and after, the consultation.
You need to provide a redundancy consultation letter for each consultation you hold. If you are making 20 or more employees redundant and holding collective consultation meetings, you only need to provide one letter for each meeting, rather than unique to each recipient.
Download our sample redundancy consultation letter
You can download our redundancy consultation letter example below.
Just remove the header, fill in the blanks and send to your staff.
Use our redundancy consultation letter template for UK consultations with individuals, or collective redundancies of 20 or more employees.
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