This toolkit provides guidance for navigating the redundancy process, providing links to key information and templates on the website.

Redundancy overview

Redundancy is a form of dismissal from employment. It happens when a business closes down, or if the need for employees to carry out work of a particular kind has ceased or diminished or is expected to cease or diminish. When redundancies occur, the employer has a number of statutory duties towards employees, including the duty to consult them and to pay redundancy pay to those who are eligible. The employer should always ensure that it is a genuine redundancy situation; it is not just an opportunity to get rid of under-performing or unpopular members of staff.

What you need to do as an employer considering redundancies

Few organisations can avoid making redundancies at some stage. The managers who have to deal with these difficult situations have the added burden of working their way through a vast amount of employment legislation and case law. Managing redundancy will never be simple or straightforward but this toolkit will assist managers to work through redundancies more effectively and avoid breaching employees’ rights and consequently appearing in the Workplace Relations Commission.

Internal notification — announce the situation at the earliest opportunity and if appropriate invite volunteers.

Note that you need to notify the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if your redundancy proposals constitute a collective redundancy.  This notification should be provided at the earliest possible stage but no later than 30 days before the first dismissal is made.

Begin collective consultation — see the topic Redundancy and our ‘how to’ guide on redundancy for further details.

Determine severance terms and arrangements — tell trade unions and/or employee representatives how you will calculate redundancy pay that exceeds statutory requirements. Follow your Redundancy Policy.

Select for redundancy — select people likely to be made redundant using objective criteria. Selection must not be influenced by any of the protected characteristics.

Consult with individuals affected — consult individually with each person selected. Seek their views on possibly changing jobs or work arrangements and consider bumping if appropriate. There are lots of template letters in the templates and tools section for you to utilise.

The final decision — there are minimum statutory notice periods that must be given to employees who are being dismissed by reason of redundancy. See the Dismissal topic for full details of notice periods.

Issue redundancy notices — when consultation has ended, issue notice letters and be specific about the date that work will stop and when employment legally ends.

Offer alternative employment if possible — once notices of redundancy dismissal have been issued, the employer is under a duty — until the effective termination dates — to seek to identify suitable alternative employment for the redundant employees.

Action during redundancy notice period — employees who are under notice of redundancy, and who have been continuously employed for at least two years, have the legal right to take a reasonable amount of paid time off work to look for another job or to arrange training.

Provide pension statements — as appropriate, arrange for pension statements to be issued: these can take a long time.

Prepare severance documents — calculate statutory or enhanced redundancy pay, make a statement of all other payments, ensure everyone is told when outstanding wages, bonus, holiday pay, etc will be paid.

There is a wealth of other resources related to the Redundancy topic. For example, if you need to draft a policy on redundancy or perhaps a policy on alternatives to redundancy, there is one available for you to tailor to your requirements.