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Making Employees Redundant

11th April, 2023
Robert Moore

Written ByRobert Moore

Marketing Manager


Rob has over a decade of experience in web and general marketing. He has extensive knowledge of the Insolvency sector and has helped many worried directors with their questions.

Rob is now working with the Board at KSA Group Ltd to develop strategic marketing programmes to support the business plan and drive more company rescues.

Robert Moore
  • Do you need to make a member(s) of your staff redundant?
  • What is redundancy?
  • What rights do redundant employees have?

Do you need to make a member(s) of your staff redundant?

When facing business debt problems, one of the key decisions to make as owner or directors is this: do some roles need to be made redundant to save costs. Is the business going to be smaller if you use a CVA, or sell it through administration for example.

Here are some key things to take into consideration. If you fail to act appropriately and correctly redundant employees can make a claim against your company. You could also face tribunals and fines for not acting correctly.

If you don’t think your company can afford to make redundancies then read this page for information on how you can do it at NIL COST

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is the act of an employee losing their job as the job or role they perform is no longer needed.

So, when is redundancy necessary?

Cost cutting reasons

  • For example resizing the company, closing certain departments or branches, perhaps due to an insolvency event such as administration or a company voluntary arrangement.
  • When there is no longer a need for the full time role In this case where a full time role may no longer be available but there may be a new part time role, then the employer must offer the part-time position to the current full-timer.

If the employee refuses, usually because the part-time position is not as convenient or suitable as an alternative, then the employee must be paid redundancy pay.

  • Full business closure, either temporary (COVID-19, refurbishment) or permanent
    So, remember, it is vital to only proceed with redundancy when appropriate as it will impact the employees and your business significantly.

A number of alternatives can always be looked into, if trying to cut costs; reducing overtime, freezing any increases to salary/wages, putting a halt on any further recruitment, terminating contracts of temporary or agency staff.

When redundancies are compulsory, for example, when employees need to be let go to save business costs and avoid insolvency there are certain criteria you can use to ensure the staff you choose to make redundant is fair.
Typically use;

  • Standards of work produced
  • Attendance and disciplinary records
  • Length of employment/service (it is important to avoid age discrimination here)
  • Skills, experience and appraisal data (be careful to avoid sex/disability discrimination)

Some employees may self-select and volunteer to be made redundant (usually if they are close to retirement age anyway and their redundancy pay will be worthwhile). Be sure to use previously agreed redundancy procedures made with unions if applicable too.

It is vital for you as an employer to…

  • Keep the employee informed with what is happening.
  • Consult the employee and give an honest explanation as to why they have been selected to be made redundant. There is a period of consultation based on the amount of employees being made redundant.

For between 20 and 99 employees being made redundant at once, there is a minimum obligation of 30 days and no less, to consult with employees. For 100 or more this period extends to 90 days and for any less, no set amount is required.

Look into all other options and discuss this with the employee; are there any alternative employment positions you can offer? Can they be transferred to a different department of the company? Or a different branch? Alternative employment positions must be of a similar nature.

The three key aspects of making an employee redundant are;

  1. consultation
  2. selection
  3. offer alternatives.

What rights do redundant employees have?

When dismissed due to redundancy, employees are entitled redundancy pay, provide the following conditions apply:

  • they are a actual employee of the company, not a subcontractor
  • they have had at least two years of continuous service
  • they have been dismissed for redundancy purposes only.

The sum of redundancy pay they will receive depends on their age at dismissal, weekly gross salary and length of service completed. Please note the Government caps the amount at £643 a week, with the maximum statutory redundancy pay at c.£17000.

Do also check the employment contract for the employee as they may have alternative conditions. For example, one month’s pay per year of service. If this is the case, the contract entitlement would be followed instead. In any situation, the highest amount is always paid, be it the contractual or statutory amount.
Before a staff member can be made redundant, their notice period must be served and this must usually be paid for. You can have more than the statutory minimum, so long it is agreed, but not less. Currently the notice periods are, at least one weeks’ notice if employed between one month and 2 years, one weeks’ notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years and 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years+. Be aware that in some situations the employee can be paid in lieu instead, depending on their employment contract entitlements. When employees serve their notice period, allow them paid time off to look for alternative employment.

Any accrued, untaken holiday pay will need to be paid for. This is capped at £643 a week and at a maximum of six weeks. Although redundancy payments are tax-free up to £30,000, for holiday pay, both income tax and national insurance are applicable.
More about employee rights when being made redundant can be found here.

If your business or company cannot afford to make redundancies then your business or company is in effect insolvent. As such, you will need to act and take advice from specialist advisors such as KSA Group the owners of this webpage, who are licensed insolvency practitioners.

If the business could be viable after costs such employee roles can be made or other costs can be cut, then a company voluntary arrangement might be the best way to rescue the situation. Any redundancy pay or lieu of notice post an insolvency event may be paid though the RPO

Redundancy Payments Service
Insolvency Service
Telephone: 0330 331 0020
Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm
Friday, 9am to 3pm

See the video below for more information


Worried Director What Will Happen To Me After Liquidation?

in Company Liquidation What is …?

"A man in the pub said I cannot be a director of any other company if I liquidate my company. Is this true?"Actually, this statement is entirely false! Misconceptions like this frequently arise from individuals with limited understanding of the subject matter. Such misinformation can cause undue anxiety for directors considering liquidation, fearing it might personally affect them. Guess what? Listening to bar room experts, inexperienced accountants, or no insolvency specialist lawyers can stop decisions being made, this failure to make a decision is really what could land you in trouble. So how will liquidation affect me and how long does it take? Having a limited liability company means that the directors have little risk (or limited liability) if the company fails, as long as they have acted properly and acted in time. What is more, if as a director, you have been compliant and on the payroll for many years, you can actually claim redundancy from the government like any other employee. But, and it is a big but, if you fail to act in time, fail to act reasonably, fail to keep books and records, continue taking credit KNOWING that the company cannot possibly repay it, then you ARE at risk of personal financial loss or worse such as losing your house. So, act now and get help for your company and more importantly start reducing your own risks.Voluntary liquidation is the quickest most efficient way to deal with an insolvent company that has no future. As a director of an insolvent company, you are at risk if you do not act. This risk RISES the longer you don't act to put the company into liquidation.If you fail to act and the company is wound up by the creditors (compulsory liquidation) then the Official Receiver (OR) will be appointed to liquidate the business and he or she will investigate the activity of the directors and the business over the last 2-3 years. This is known as a conduct report on each director.  If the OR can prove there was wrongful trading where, for instance, you have taken credit from a supplier or took deposits from customers when you knew that it was highly unlikely that you could pay them back, then you could be made personally liable.This is known as the "lifting of the veil of incorporation" that protects directors under limited liability. If this happens then you could made liable for PAYE, VAT and creditors monies from the time that you should have known the company had no reasonable prospect of surviving the problems it faced.Additionally, the directors may face disqualification proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 for up to 15 years, they can be fined and may face the loss of personal assets like your home, or even personal bankruptcy.Look, if you as directors have acted naively you may not know that you have broken these laws, but now you do know, it is vital to ensure that you protect yourself as a director by acting quickly to cease trading and put the company into voluntary liquidation; or consider a company voluntary arrangement if the company is VIABLE if the problems are solved. What is Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and what does it mean for me? In short, liquidation usually means, the company's trading stops and it's assets are turned into cash or "liquidated".All other possible liabilities, like employment liabilities, landlord's rent or payments to lease companies are stopped. It really is the end of the company, but the "business" may survive if a phoenix is organised. Liquidation is a powerful way to END creditor pressure and let you get on with your life. What if I have signed personal guarantees? If you have signed personal guarantees or indemnities to lenders, then the liquidation could lead to them being called in if the bank cannot get its money back from the company. There is little that can be done about that, but you should not delay decisions on liquidation to try and prevent a PG being called in: just think what ALL of the company's debts landing on your shoulders would do. Also it should be noted that HMRC now rank ahead of floating charge holders in any liquidation since December 2020.  Consequently, this may well mean that lenders that you have personally guaranteed will get less recovery hence exposing you more.All banks will agree a deal to repay the PG over time - provided you work with the bank to reduce their exposure.One great piece of FREE advice - always make sure that ALL tax returns, VAT returns and annual returns have been completed and sent in and that other "compliance" issues are dealt with wherever possible. These are important processes and will help protect you as individual directors. It shows that you have been acting properly.  I have heard about directors being able to claim redundancy in liquidation If you have been employed by the company and made payments via PAYE then you will be able to claim redundancy from the government and this is in fact a very simple process (20 minutes to fill out a form and we can help with that) so there is no need really to employ a third party to make a claim.  This process has been open to fraud so the HMRC are cracking down on operators that claim to be able to get money back when there is not enough "paperwork".  It isn't worth the risk.  If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!You need to learn more about the options. This is clearly a general guide so, if you have any worries at all, please, just call us and we will talk you through the situation free and with expert guidance for your situation. Call one of our advisors or if you prefer, call our IPs (insolvency practitioners) now:Just one CALL will help relieve the stress and get you out of the mess.Why not call 08009700539 or 020 7887 2667 now?We could help you start the liquidation process today.(8.15am till 5.00pm; Out of hours call on 07833 240747, Wayne Harrison (IP)  or Eric Walls (IP) on 07787 278527)Finally, please remember this: NO BUSINESS is worth losing your health, relationships, marriages or your children over. Act properly, take advice, get the problem sorted and then get on with your life. In a little while the stress will go and you can focus on other things that are more important.Want more information on liquidation? Get our new free 2023 Experts Complete Guide to Creditors Voluntary Liquidation that covers Bounce Back LoansWe are experts in liquidation, voluntary liquidation, administration, pre-pack administration, business rescue, corporate rescue and company rescue, we can help solve your problems but only if you talk to us. Call 0800 9700539 for help.or email us your worries at 

Worried Director What Will Happen To Me After Liquidation?

Notice of Intention To Appoint Administrators

A notice of intention to appoint administrators is when the company files a document to the court to outline that it intends to go into administration if a solution cannot be found to its immediate financial problems. It can be used as part of the pre-pack administration process as well as used to restructure a failing business to avoid its liquidation.

Notice of Intention To Appoint Administrators
Man with umbrella

What Is A Winding Up Petition By HMRC or Other Creditor

A winding up petition is a legal notice put forward to the court by a creditor. The creditor petitions to the court if they are owed more than £750 and it has not been paid for more than 21 days. The application, in effect, asks the court to liquidate the company as they believe the company is insolvent.

What Is A Winding Up Petition By HMRC or Other Creditor

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