Training need identified as redundancies rise

Redundant female employee being led away

Nearly eight in ten employers are blaming budget cuts, low business demands and inflation for forcing them to make redundancies. But 74 per cent are said to have not providing any training to help their line managers handle this.

While 24 per cent of line managers have had generic wellbeing training, specifically, 82 per cent have not received targeted advice on the subject to enable them to handle layoffs, according to a poll by a legal and HR consultancy which recently questioned 227 employers. They warn that this will inevitably lead to a rise in mental health issues as they fail to handle the stress of handling such challenging conversations.

They also note that half of the employers polled aren’t considering providing outplacement support to help employees find a new job after redundancy.

With the national living wage increase in April and the economy forecast to contract in each quarter of 2023, more and more employers are facing the inevitability that making redundancies may be their only option.

Chester-based WorkNest revealed that queries concerning redundancy increased by 17.5 per cent between November 2022 and January, compared to the previous three months.

Danielle Scott, Employment Law Adviser and Solicitor at WorkNest, said: “Employees are already facing financial worries with the rising inflation rate and cost of living. Being in a redundancy situation is not what they need right now.

It’s important businesses are cautious if they are going through a redundancy situation and ensure they take legal advice before going ahead

“Unfortunately, businesses are struggling to make ends meet, and declining business demands mean they’re being forced to make employees redundant to reduce costs.

“It’s important businesses are cautious if they are going through a redundancy situation and ensure they take legal advice before going ahead. They need to ensure employees selected for redundancy is a decision made objectively, and they are not discriminating in any form, such as ‘last in, first out’ and disability or pregnancy-related absences. Employers should consider if there are any alternatives to redundancy such as offering alternative employment or reducing hours instead?”

HR Consultant, Louise Harvey, said: “Unfortunately, line managers often get forgotten about when redundancy situations occur, and it can be difficult for them to make sure any members of their team being made redundant feel supported. Sometimes, their team are not just colleagues, but friendships may have formed as well. So, it’s crucial to support line managers in dealing with the emotional aspect of it all.