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Factors That Govern Compulsory Redundancy Rights

There are several factors that govern employers when for any reasons they have to terminate employment. Employees are likewise obliged to stand for their rights as per the compulsory redundancy rights and ensure that employers observe this in accordance with the contract of agreement. The terms of service should include the rights of employees which determine how the employer deals with employees when on matters appertaining to redundancy.

When disputes arise, the law requires that such matters should be dealt with amicably between the employee and the employer on the basis of the contract of agreement .When an employer wishes to make redundant more than twenty people in a period not more than ninety days, the law demands that he should consult the workforce and the relevant trade union. In case the employer does not recognize the mandate of trade unions he should establish a staff council elected directly by the employees. Matters concerning the rights of employees should be accorded the highest priority and all efforts should be made by both the employer and employees to ensure that they conform to compulsory redundancy rights. This requires that redundancies should be handled in the light of good faith and where possible they should be averted for the interests of employees.

In observance of the rights of employees and in conformity with compulsory redundancy rights all discriminations should be avoided on the basis of sex or in the category of jobs .This requires that no woman should be selected for redundancy for being pregnant or on the basis of sickness which might occur from time to time. In the category of jobs, the staff council should ensure that redundancy touches on all members of staff regardless of their departments unless that is not practically possible. The amount of the statutory redundancy payment should also be negotiated to make sure that those who will be affected will get the best deal.

Consultation should involve all the parties concerned in due respect to the rights of employees as per the compulsory redundancy rights. This requires that the management should not assume or coerce the staff council or any other body representing the rights of employees in a bid to overrun their rights. This applies also on the time frame as defined in the compulsory redundancy rights when companies have to make redundant employees ranging from 20 to 99 employees for a period not exceeding ninety days.

It is stated that consultation for such eventualities should last not less than thirty days. In case more than a hundred employees are to be made redundant, consultations should last not less than 90 days. The primary goal of the consultation is to make the establishment have enough time to evaluate the exercise and if possible minimize the number of the staff to be affected and where possible offer alternatives for other jobs or less working hours and any other option within its powers. In conjunction with that, it has severally been noted through negotiations that redundancy might be avoided in the long run and where not applicable the affected employee will get a better package than what normally happens.

Negotiations when done in the best of the interest and due consideration of the plight of employees to be affected might bring far reaching benefits for employees in the long term. This will be for the good of the company and might lead to higher returns when the cause of redundancy is displacement of workers by machines. Long term policies should be included in the working policies of companies to ensure that employees are not denied their rights as required by the compulsory redundancy rights.

Redundancy rights require that no employee should be served with redundancy notice before consultation has been done and finalized amicably. Where the rights of employees have been infringed, the employee is entitled to consult the Employment Tribunal and give the details of the claim in writing. Where applicable, the tribunal might force the employer to pay for the time period in question whatever the case might be .This payment is called the protective award and is clearly defined in the compulsory redundancy rights as a legitimate right for employee.

In rare cases the employee might agree to take an alternative job from the same employer which in a way excludes such employee from compulsory redundancy rights. The rules governing such changes require that the employer in this case should offer a new job four weeks before the term of the fist job expires. The law provides that the job should be satisfactory to the employee and when it does not suit, he is obliged to turn down such an offer. When an employee might opt to give an alternative job a trial he should be given not less than four weeks as a trial period which should be applied for in writing and the conditions for the trial agreed upon. When the trial period is over and the employee wishes to continue with the new job, he automatically looses rights to redundancy payments.

Disputes resulting from rejection or the terms of the new job might be referred to the Employment tribunal. The tribunal will take into consideration the facts surrounding the dispute and give a verdict as per compulsory redundancy rights. The tribunal is meant to oversee justice where employees rights are not observed and in instances where employers might contravene the laws governing the rights of employees.

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