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Restructure, redundancy and closures

Published 17 Apr 2023

Earlier this month the media were clamouring about the shock high profile news story regarding the closure of Today FM radio station. Apparently MediaWorks pretty much summarily closed the operation allegedly circulating an internal document giving staff to the end of the day to provide feedback on the 'proposal' to shut down the radio station affecting the jobs of some 40 people.

Needless to say this was not well received and the 7 hour window for feedback did nothing to avert the closure. From a pure process point of view it would be hard to accept the genuineness of the consultation.

'Change Management' is an umbrella term used to describe the accepted process businesses should use when addressing the need to change from an organisational point of view.
Whether we're talking about change of staff roles, reduction in hours, redundancies or even closure of the business, a genuine change management process needs to take place.

A changing business environment is nothing new and most businesses need to adapt at some point in their life cycle to remain financially solvent and sustainable. Directors of a company have a fiduciary duty to run a company viably and profitably, just as MediaWorks do to their shareholders.

When restructures or redundancies are challenged through the Courts it's usually the process which is questioned rather than the justification for the action itself, which might prevail to be the main bugbear in this case.

There is very little prescribed in legislation regarding change management or redundancies unless workers fall into the category of a 'Vulnerable Employee'. But for the majority of employees it's mainly about fair process, consultation and acting in good faith.

Closing down a business does make staff redundant and needs to be undertaken with sensitivity and recognition that a consultative approached is still needed in this regard. A business, even if winding up seems inevitable, is well advised not to approach its staff with a 'fait accompli' and simply gives lip service to process and consultation such as issuing feedback deadlines for the same day.

All our members have access through the Library of the Employers Toolbox to our guide on the change management process, which includes the letters and documents to use and the meetings to call. Non members can purchase this guide from our website here:

Every case and circumstance has its nuances and differences so it pays to use our free consultancy service for members. Genuine consultation with staff takes time, we suggest taking very slightly more time and contacting us to check your approach prior to starting the process as success personal grievances costs significant money at a time when the business can least afford it.