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What is a restructure process?

A restructuring process examines and reviews the employer’s operations and needs. It asks whether the employer has the right amount of staff allocated to the right areas and, if not, why not.

It is common for an employer to consider restructuring to achieve economic efficiencies. In these situations, an employer will consider whether it has more staff than it needs, or can afford, and whether one or more roles can be ‘stripped out’ or reorganised.

A common outcome of this process is to for an employer to find out that it can’t sustain the number of positions it currently has for a number of operational and financial reasons.

Traps to avoid

  • Make sure the redundancy relates to the job / position, and not the individual attributes, performance, attitude or conduct of the person doing that job;
  • Consult with the employee performing the role before confirming the decision to make that role redundant;
  • Share information about the process and the number of employees affected to show its not ‘all about them’. That is, an employer will blunt an allegation an employee has been targeted for redundancy owing to them sharing details about being pregnant if the employer can show to the employee concerned that her entire sales team has been made redundant following a decision to offshore the sales function of the company;
  • Clearly establish (and document) the actual and financial reasons for the restructure leading to the redundancies.

How we help

Restructures leading to multiple staff redundancies are complex and difficult workplace relations exercise. There are many traps for employers who do not follow a procedurally fair process or consult sufficiently. There are no set rules in developing a redundancy strategy that minimises the associated legal risks but we can help make your redundancy process as smooth as far as possible, minimising legal risks as we go.

Workplace Wizards guides employers through restructure and redundancy processes. We advise on the risks and complexities involved plus applicable notice periods and severance payments for employees.

Our strategic assistance helps businesses ensure every step of the restructure is considered and informed. We also manage interactions with employees and unions and draft the associated consultation and implementation documents.

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