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Collective redundancies: ACAS guidance arrival…

redundancyAs covered in our March newsletter, on 6 April new collective redundancy regulations came into force which mean that where 100 or more redundancies are proposed the consultation will need to begin no later than 45 days before the first dismissal takes effect (rather than 90 days).

We now also have the new accompanying ACAS guidance:€œHow to manage collective redundancies“ (available here). The guidance is not legally binding but aims to help employers understand their legal obligations and “sets out the principles and behaviours behind a good quality consultation to help employers manage collective redundancies more effectively“. This is the first ACAS guidance concentrating solely on how to handle collective redundancies and, as such, is especially helpful. It also builds on its revised guidance on handling redundancies released last year and available here.

The areas covered by the guidance include:

Helpfully, the guidance does not restrict itself to legal principles. It also covers more practical issues, such as how to deal with affected staff, for example on topics such as employee engagement, and has much practical help in the form of case studies, sample forms and timelines. Rightly, it sees the non-legal aspects of a redundancy process as a priority for managers to focus on from the outset, advising that “demonstrating empathy can be as important as adhering to organisational policies“, a view that our firm has always strongly advocated.

As ever, the ACAS guidance is not a substitute for specialised legal advice where you are contemplating a large-scale redundancy programme, but it will nonetheless prove helpful to all those involved.

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