Last week it was announced that P&O Ferries LTD had made mass redundancies across their crewing team, leaving 800 employees without work. This announcement was made by live video call to all 800 individuals, with no apparent consultation process having been followed.
The question everyone is asking is – is this legal?
The short answer is no. When making an employee redundant a consultation process must be followed, this typically includes including a notice of risk of redundancy and an invitation to a consultation meeting to discuss the risks and any potential redundancy alternatives.
In addition, where 20 or more employees are to be made redundant within a 90-day period, collective consultations is required for at least 30 days when proposing dismissals of between 20 and 99 employees, or 45 days where there are 100 or more.
When 20 or more redundancies are being considered there is a further obligation to consult third parties. This includes the employees’ appropriate representatives (ie. the relevant trade union) and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Following a fair procedure is vital when making redundancies of any size. Wollens have an experienced team that provide support to both employees who have been unfairly dismissed, and employers who require advice in ensuring a fair redundancy process is followed. Don’t hesitate to get in touch now if you need to speak with one of our specialists.