A quarter of North West employers 'set to axe staff' in the next 12 months
The mediation and conciliation service Acas commissioned YouGov to ask businesses in the North West about their redundancy plans in the next 12 months.
And 23 per cent of those surveyed said they may have to axe jobs.
Acas Chief Executive Susan Clews said: “Some businesses are facing tough challenges and our poll reveals that one in four employers in the North West are considering redundancies in the year ahead.
“Acas advice for bosses in the North West is to exhaust all possible alternatives to redundancies first but if employers feel like they have no choice then they must follow the law in this area or they could be subject to a costly legal process.”
If an employer finds there are no other choices than to make redundancies, then there are strict rules on consulting staff that they must follow.
An employer must discuss any planned changes and consult with each employee who could be affected. This includes staff who may not be losing their jobs but will be impacted.
The minimum consultation period varies depending on the number of employees that an employer wishes to make redundant. By law, employers who wish to make 20 or more staff redundant over any three-month (90 day) period must also consult a recognised trade union or elected employee representatives about the proposed changes.
For 20 to 99 redundancies, consultation must start at least 30 days before the first dismissal can take effect, and for 100 or more redundancies, it must start at least 45 days before. For less than 20 redundancies, there is no set time period, but the length of consultation must be reasonable.
If an employer does not meet consultation requirements, employees can take their employer to an employment tribunal. If successful, the employer may have to pay up to 90 days’ full pay for each affected employee. Someone can also make a claim of unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal on the grounds that they were not consulted, or the consultation was not meaningful.