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Communication Is Very Important Particularly During A Redundancy Situation

Published 18 Mar 2013

Effective consultation during downsizing and redundancies heavily depends on communication. Consultation is not a mere formality that employers go through during redundancies and downsizing. It certainly is not to be treated as a box-ticking exercise.

Communication during the redundancy consultation stage needs to be completed in a planned way that reinforces key messages and makes certain that there is consistency across all communication media and between senior managers.

Another important communication related matter in redundancies is the amount of employee “voice” or input that employees genuinely have into the decision making process.

Consultation with employees after making a commercial decision (such as using a new technology that may render some roles superfluous) will be ineffective as they would have had little or no input into the process. You also risk having an element of predetermination.

In addition, having sufficient information on the situation, and on the employee's view will help in reaching a fair, justifiable, decision and in demonstrating that you have followed principles of procedural fairness and natural justice.

Effective and clear communication also forms an essential part of the post redundancy process. Those that remain will undoubtedly react negatively to unclear explanations of the lay-offs. The greater the degree of clarity of communication, the higher the level of organisational commitment after the event.  Those employees that remain must think that the processes used and treatment of those that have gone to be fair and reasonable.

For further information on redundancies please refer to our 'Downsizing and Redundancies' book online. This is available in the library section of our Employers Toolbox for our Employers Support Package members.

If you are considering redundancies please give us a call on 0800 15 8000 before doing anything.