One in five HR leaders to make redundancies in 2022

HR leaders reminded to 'follow the law' when it comes to layoffs

One in five HR leaders to make redundancies in 2022

Nearly one in five employers have admitted that they are likely to make redundancies over the next 12 months, with larger businesses more likely to do this than smaller firms.

A new study from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has revealed that 18% of employers are considering making redundancies up to March 2023. Another 72% said they are unlikely to do so, while 10% said they do not know yet.

The study also revealed that more businesses that are employing over 250 employees are considering staff redundancies than smaller businesses.

According to the report, 30% of large businesses are likely to make redundancies in the next 12 months, 58% said they likely won't, while 12% did not know.

In contrast, only 10% of small firms are considering redundances in the next 12 months, a much bigger 81% said they won't make redundancies, while nine per cent said they do not know.

Susan Clews, Acas chief executive, cited the "impact of global events" that led to some businesses facing different circumstances as of late.

Advised Clews, employers should first consider exhausting all possibilities before resorting to redundancies among staff.

"Acas advice for bosses is to 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," said the chief executive.

Read more: Redundancies – how can HR get them right?

According to Acas, employers must follow a minimum consultation period among staff if they decide to carry out redundancies.

This means that employers who wish to make 20 or more staff redundant over any 90-day period must consult employees affected, as well as a recognised trade union or elected employee representatives.

If employers plan to make 20 to 99 redundancies, Aces reminded that consultation must begin 30 days before the first laying off takes effect. For those with a hundred and over, it has to start 45 days before.

"For less than 20 redundancies, there is no set time period, but the length of consultation must be reasonable," Acas said.

It warned that employers who do not meet consultation requirements can be brought to an employment tribunal with the employee they made redundant. They may also be liable for up to 90 days of full pay for each affected employee.

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