Meta, the social media giant which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has recently announced that it will cut 13% of its global workforce, resulting in 11,000 employees worldwide losing their jobs. According to a Companies House filing, Meta employed more than 5,000 people in the UK as of December 2021. Additionally, according to local reports, it directly employs a further 3,000 people and many more contractors in Dublin.
Meta has so far declined to release the number of redundancies it will make in either country. However, due to the potentially large number of job losses affecting those in the UK, it will be important that Meta follows correct redundancy procedures under UK employment law. Therefore, this article looks at some frequently asked questions regarding the Collective Consultation Redundancy Process.
What is Collective Consultation?
Under UK law, ‘collective consultation’ rules apply if an employer is making 20 or more employees redundant within any 90-day period at a single establishment.
Under these circumstances, if an employer does not consult employees in a redundancy situation, any redundancies they make will likely be deemed unfair, and employees could take the employer to an employment tribunal.
What is the Collective Consultation Process?
Whilst an employer is not obligated to end the consultation process in an agreement, employers must carry it out with a ‘view to reaching it’, including ways of avoiding or reducing redundancies. Under the Collective Consultation rules, employers are expected to follow these steps:
- You must notify the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) before a consultation starts. The deadline depends on the number of proposed redundancies. – Notify RPS by filling in form HR1. Instructions on where to send it are on the form.
- Consult with trade union representatives or elected employee representatives – or with staff directly if there are none.
- Provide information to representatives or staff about the planned redundancies, giving representatives or staff enough time to consider them.
- Respond to any requests for further information.
- Give any affected staff termination notices showing the agreed leaving date.
- Issue redundancy notices once the consultation is complete.
What are the deadlines for notifying RPS?
The deadline for notifying RPS depends on the number of proposed redundancies.
- 20 to 99 proposed redundancies – 30 days before the first redundancy
- 100 or more proposed redundancies – 45 days before the first redundancy
Employers should be aware that failure to notify the RPS could result in them being fined an unlimited amount.
Is there a time limit for the consultation process?
There is no time limit on how long consultations last, but there is a minimum period before you can dismiss any employees.
- 20 to 99 proposed redundancies – 30 days minimum consultation period before dismissal
- 100 or more proposed redundancies – 45 days minimum consultation period before dismissal
What information will employers need to provide?
Employers must provide written details to representatives or staff of:
- the reasons for redundancies
- the numbers and categories of employees involved
- the numbers of employees in each category
- how you plan to select employees for redundancy
- how you’ll carry out redundancies
- how you’ll work out redundancy payments
Employment law advice – Redundancy
Employers need to be mindful of the implications of correctly following redundancy procedures. Ignoring these issues could be damaging, with disputes leading to grievances or costly legal claims. Employment law is constantly evolving, and the last ten years or so have seen the introduction of numerous regulations which influence the employer-employee relationship. We pursue and defend claims on behalf of both employers and employees and can provide advice and assistance with all aspects of employment law matters, redundancy claims, discrimination claims and disputes.
Please contact our Employment and Litigation Solicitors on email@example.com to discuss the best way forward for you and we will provide you with further and specific advice tailored to your circumstances.
This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.