How to Handle Redundancies as a Business Owner


No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but sadly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent financial losses felt by businesses of all sizes, it seems that very few businesses can avoid this devastating blow to their desperate employees.

Delivering this news is often veiled as a restructuring process and organisational changes within the business, but this sympathetic terminology does nothing to quell the sense of dread, anger and worry that comes with redundancies. Therefore, if you’re the person who has to break this news to your employees or those within your team, it’s a difficult burden to bear. Maintaining high levels of communication during this period is essential, as is adhering to employment law. Here we’ll explore some straightforward ways you can handle redundancies as a business owner.

Bring In The Experts

We’ve already touched upon the importance of adhering to employment law during this difficult period. However, employment law – particularly guidelines around redundancy – can be incredibly complex, which is why many enterprises bring in legal experts at handling redundancy at this stage. While these experts are working away in the background creating project plans, timetables, managing the consultation process and handling the administration side of things, you can remain on the front line, keeping the lines of communication open, speaking with employees and working hard to minimise damage to your company’s reputation.

Having legal support on your side throughout the redundancy process can help you restructure your business whilst keeping compliant at every stage. Don’t skip this step!

Keep Everything As Simple As Possible

During this emotional and often confusing period, your employees need and deserve as much clarity as possible. You must highlight how this process will impact them and what the following steps are going to be – again, your legal contacts can help you develop a consultation process and manage it compliantly. Emails and letters that are filled with jargon come with uncertainty and frustration, making grievances and even tribunals a possibility. By keeping everything simple, everyone benefits.

Work On Your Communication Skills

Whether you’re going to be delivering a speech to your employees to announce redundancies, or you’re nervous about having to answer questions and handle emotional employees during the fallout, working on your communication skills is essential at this stage. Preparing a script or reading from a statement requires practice, even if you’re not going to learn it by heart. Keeping your voice steady, and clear will help get the message across without creating confusion for your workers.

Working on your listening skills will help you answer questions better, and demonstrates to your employees that you respect their current position and the stress that they’re under. Practice listening and what you’re planning to say as much as possible.

Final Thoughts…

Redundancies are a difficult time for everyone within an organisation, however, it’s the business owner’s responsibility to ensure everything is done legally and with compliance in mind. Reach out to a legal expert in redundancy to get the ball rolling.