Covid-19 Redundancies - the elephant in the room

December 2021 | Benrina Browne


No one wants to, but let’s talk about the increased risk of redundancies. Despite all the rallying and the government incentives to protect the work force through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the reality is that for most businesses, being forced to shut up shop for months was a blow that many have not recovered from.

The anticipated redundancy numbers are sobering.


Redundancies can only be considered where a job/position is no longer needed.

Employers must use a fair selection process.

Employers cannot use a process that discriminates based on

The process and timelines will depend on how many people are being made redundant.

The procedure for Redundancy in the UK has become somewhat standardised with specific rules and timelines relating to making less than 20 employees redundant, 20 -99 employees, or over 100.

In every case, Employers must consult with employees (explain what is going on, why, and take questions) before making them redundant.

Part of the consultation process should include considering alternatives to redundancy, looking to reduce the number of redundancies, and looking for ways to reduce hardship on employees at risk.

It is always advisable to start with an open offer to employees who wish to take voluntary redundancy.

The redundancy process requires precise timing and of course must be conducted in the strictest confidence. Careful preparation is required before the redundancy process starts, so that employers ensure they comply with relevant redundancy legislation and limit the legal risks and fallout from the restructuring.

Useful links:

Redundancy Calculator –
Employees –
Employers –


Our lawyers are also available to provide expert advice and assistance on these and other subject areas that we handle, and can be contacted on 01279 598 008 / 07958 571 391, or on