Nearly one in five Scottish employers are likely to make redundancies in the year ahead
Almost one in five employers in Scotland are likely to make staff redundancies in the year ahead, according to a new survey commissioned by workplace experts Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) and carried out by YouGov.
The new study shows that 19% of businesses based in Scotland are likely to make redundancies in the next 12 months.
Acas Scotland director Frank Blair, said: “Global events over the past few years have thrown up difficult challenges for some businesses and our poll reveals that almost one in five of them in Scotland are likely to make redundancies in the next 12 months.
“Our advice is that bosses should exhaust all possible alternatives to redundancies first, but if employers feel like they have no choice then they must follow the law in this area, or they could be subject to a costly legal process.”
If an employer finds there are no other choices than to make redundancies, then there are strict rules on consulting staff that they must follow. An employer must discuss any planned changes and consult with each employee who could be affected. This includes staff who may not be losing their jobs but will be impacted.
The minimum consultation period varies depending on the number of employees that an employer wishes to make redundant. By law, employers who wish to make 20 or more staff redundant over any three-month (90-day) period must also consult a recognised trade union or elected employee representatives about the proposed changes.
For 20-99 redundancies, consultation must start at least 30 days before the first dismissal can take effect, and for 100 or more redundancies, it has to start at least 45 days before. For less than 20 redundancies, there are no set time periods but the length of consultation must be reasonable.
If an employer does not meet consultation requirements, employees can take their employer to an employment tribunal. If successful, the employer may have to pay up to 90 days’ full pay for each affected employee. Someone can also make a claim of unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal on the grounds that they were not consulted, or the consultation was not meaningful.
Employers should consider all possible options before considering redundancies as other solutions to their situation could be found through consultation with their staff, employee representatives and unions.
Acas advisers have seen many examples of this joint working that’s produced creative alternatives to job losses. Such as part-time working, cuts to overtime, finding alternative roles and retraining.