Over the last few months, there have been various redundancies across the tech industry with layoffs in Twitter and Meta. In HR terms, these large layoffs are called Collective Redundancies. Collective Redundancies – What Are They? To help understand collective redundancies and prevent unfair dismissals, here are some important things to know.
These type of redundancies apply where in any period of thirty consecutive days the number of such dismissals are:
- 5 employees in an establishment employing 21-49 employees
- 10 employees in an establishment normally employing 50-99 employees
- 10% of employees in an establishment normally employing 100-299 employees, or
- 30 employees in an establishment normally employing 300 or more employees
Where collective redundancies arise, employers have an obligation to begin consultations with the workers’ representatives ‘in good time’, in the case where they are ‘contemplating collective redundancies’. These consultations must also be ‘with a view to reaching agreement’.
Consultations and negotiations should commence at the earliest opportunity, but at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect. Employers must adhere to the following:
- Before any consultations begin, no decisions can be made
- There is an obligation to negotiate during the consultation period
- No contracts can be terminated until after the consultation process is finished
In the absence of a trade union the legislation requires an employer to put in place an arrangement whereby employees may nominate a person or persons to represent them in negotiations with the employer.
Any consultations or negotiations with employee representatives must cover the following:
- The possibility of avoiding the proposed redundancies, reducing the number of employees to be made redundant; or the possibility of redeployment; and
- The basis on which it will be decided which particular employees will be made redundant.
Employers are obliged to give all information relevant to the proposed collective redundancies in writing to employee representatives, including the following:
1. Reason for the proposed redundancies
2. Number and description or categories of employees whom it is proposed to make redundant
3. The number of employees, and their description or categories, normally employed
4. In the period during which it is proposed to affect the proposed redundancies
5. The criteria proposed for the selection of the workers to be made redundant; and
6. The method for calculating any redundancy payment other than those methods set out in the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 – 1991
Notification to the Minister
Employers must notify the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation in writing of the collective redundancy situation at the earliest opportunity and in any event at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect.
To show that the Act is being complied with, employers are obliged to keep all necessary records. All these records must be retained for at least three years.
Please contact Boyd HR if you have any questions in relation to this topic or if your company is considering making collective redundancies. To find out more about redundancy and how to avoid unfair dismissal, check out this link.