I was just on the phone to a client and we were talking through a number of ways to avoid redundancy with his staff that have been working for him for years… some even 15 years!


It got me thinking that the knowledge I have around redundancy also extends to ways to avoids redundancy so I thought I’d share with you in case you may be in the same position.


Reduction in salary

This is the option we spoke about today and we went through a few scenarios that would be fair to the staff but also wouldn’t put the organisation in a vulnerable financial position. Important thing to remember here is the 2c’s Consultation and Consent


Reduction in hours

Consider introducing a reduction in hours or days worked for certain groups of employees. This can be an effective way of reducing costs without making compulsory redundancies. If this approach is adopted, care will need to be taken to ensure that the business has the right to require those employees to work full time again once levels of work pick up.


Offer voluntary redundancy.

The process is pretty much the same as compulsory redundancies, however, Voluntary redundancy encourages staff to nominate themselves to leave most often with the added incentive of a larger financial package than they would be entitled to under the compulsory redundancy route.


Voluntary sabbaticals and secondments 

Pretty common in professional services, your organization can still consider whether employees may be interested in taking voluntary sabbaticals, either unpaid, or paid at a greatly reduced rate of pay. With the demand for work life balance on the increase, this may be a viable option for a few. Employees get the opportunity to gain experience in another company or even work on their ‘side hustle’ as long as terms and conditions are agreed in advance.

Recruitment freezes

It’s always bad taste to make a group of employees redundant and still have an active and LIVE recruitment activity. But as HR, I do understand that you may need to hire. My advice to reduce employee discord is to ensure that all staff are aware of the importance of the new role so they see the value 


Employee voice

Ask the employees if they can come up with any innovative ways of reducing costs whilst avoiding redundancies. Even if the employees are not able to formulate any good ideas, by involving them in the process, they are likely to feel a greater sense of ‘togetherness’ and may therefore be more open to some of the options


Hope these ideas give you food for thought as an alternative to compulsory redundancies

 Michelle    10 April 2021