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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alternatives to Redundancy

As I am now in the process of working out my redundancy notice, served to me at the end of the last Whitestar Solar board meeting (Incubated @ www.narec.co.uk ), I thought this article was very timely "alternatives to redundancy". I don't have a problem with the guys taking a cost cutting option to pull the plug on the project, they are funded by One NorthEast (www.onenortheast.co.uk ) and they need to please there masters and as the route to whitehall and the purse strings is focused on renew-ables with propellers (see the narec website for the multi-million pound government funding received £50m+) therefore the fastest growing renewable sector worldwide Solar PV does not warrant anymore support and leaves at risk the jobs of the UK's only independent Solar Research facility,they are trying a last minute attempt to recover the situation and save some of the jobs.

Alternatives to redundancy

Redundancies may not suit your needs

Letting good people go should always be a last resort. Emma Wood, a personal consultant at NorthgateArinso Employer Services, considers measures companies can take before filling out the P45s.

Temporary options

• Stopping overtime
Most employees when paid overtime are paid at an advanced rate. Look at employing basic rate employees to cover this overtime.

• Reducing hours
Talk to your employees about temporarily reducing their hours to a four or three-day week. Also, look at shift patterns – can these be reduced or alternated? You may also want to negotiate a temporary change in rate of pay.

• Re-training
Look at widening the skills of your staff so they can be redeployed into different departments within the business.

• Sabbaticals

Many members of staff may be looking to take time off to travel the world or even spend time at home with families. Sabbaticals are a great option to consider as they are always unpaid.

• Layoffs
These are often used as a short-term alternative to redundancy. This allows you to send people home on limited pay or unpaid for a specific amount of time.

Permanent options

• Natural wastage
During difficult times some of your employees may wish to resign. Also, if you have employees currently going through dismissal processes, make sure you keep on top of these.

• Early retirement

Some of your staff may wish to take early retirement.

• End all temporary contracts

Although these have a fixed termination date, you do have the flexibility to end them sooner.

• Introduce specific purpose contracts

If you are employing new staff for a defined period, there is no need to give them full-term contracts.

• Compromise agreements
These are useful if you have no other alternatives. You will need to remember that the employee will need to seek advice to ensure this is a correct legal document. You should seek legal advice as well.

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