Individual Redundancies (Non-Collective Redundancy Situation)
No matter what type of redundancy, the employer must give the individual employee sufficient notice of potential redundancy and consult with them about other alternatives to the possible redundancy. Under the Redundancy Payment Acts 1967-2007, an employer is required to give a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice (which cannot be paid in lieu) of termination of employment to those who are not part of a collective redundancy situation i.e. the numbers to be potentially made redundant do not reach a defined proportion of the workforce as defined by collective redundancy. Notwithstanding the 2 week’s ‘consultation’ notice required, many will be required to be given longer periods of notice as their notice period in their contract may be longer e.g. 1 month, 3 month’s, 1 year. In the case of long-serving employees they may have longer notice periods as dictated by the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973 than specified in their contract of employment and whichever notice period is the greater should be used. The employer is required to act “reasonably”. Thus, in order to be reasonable, the employer must hold some form of hearing with the individual employee. This would normally entail a meeting at the commencement of the 2 week ‘consultation’ period to inform the employee of a potential redundancy situation, a meeting/talks during the 2 weeks to identify any possible alternatives to the proposed redundancy, and in the event that there are no suitable alternatives identified, a meeting at the end of the 2 weeks to confirm the redundancy.