In the current economic climate redundancy is something that a number of employers are having to consider, but they are often unclear when the consultation process with staff should begin.
This can be summarised fairly briefly in the following way:-
An employer is “proposing to dismiss” employees as redundant (thus triggering the consultation provisions of the Act) when, “following a diagnosis of the problem, specific proposals are formulated, with redundancies as one of the available options” (Hough v Leyland DAF Ltd). “Proposing to dismiss” means “proposing to give notice of dismissal”. A proposal means something less than an actual decision that dismissals are to be made, and something more than a possibility that they may occur (Leicestershire County Council v Unison). Thus where directors of a company were considering the options of either selling the business as a going concern or selling it as a development site, this amounted to a proposal to dismiss the workforce, even though no final decision had been reached on which option they would adopt ( Scotch Premier Meat Ltd v Burns ).
If you need any further help in deciding when to start the process, please call us for advice at the earliest possible stage.