An employer must follow a proper and fair process before deciding to make an employee redundant. There must also be genuine reasons for the restructure.

The necessary steps are:

  1. Consider whether there are genuine business reasons for the restructure.
  2. Draft a proposal for what the restructure could be.
  3. Put the proposal to the employee (with supporting information).
  4. Seek their feedback on the proposal.
  5. Tell them they can have support in the process from a representative or advocate.
  6. Give a reasonable opportunity for them to prepare their feedback.
  7. Meet with them to receive their feedback.
  8. Consider the feedback.
  9. Reach a conclusion on the proposal or consider other alternatives.
  10. Advise the employee of the outcome of the process.
  11. Consider alternatives such as redeployment.
  12. Offer alternative roles.
  13. If no alternative roles available, advise the employee of the outcome. If it is a redundancy, advise them of the notice period etc.

If a genuine reason exists and the proper process is followed then the redundancy will be justified. In a recent case an employee challenged their redundancy but the Employment Relations Authority held that the employer had a genuine reason for the restructure and had followed all of the steps above so there was no unjustified dismissal or grounds for a personal grievance.

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