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There’s no denying that the last 6 months have been hard for business owners across the UK. Many are feeling under pressure and forced to think about making drastic cuts, including redundancies.

The constant uncertainty and changing regulations continue to present a plethora of challenges. And businesses are forced to think dynamically and creatively to keep their business going. But with furlough finishing at the end of this month, some businesses are faced with making difficult decisions about their staff.

Increase prospects for survival

As we know from the media, redundancies are on the increase with many long-serving experienced, loyal and valuable staff losing their jobs as the economy tries to recover. But it’s important to understand that there are other alternatives for employers to secure greater prospects of survival and success, without having to resort to redundancy just yet!

Of course, redundancy is a tried and tested method for reducing both headcount and costs. However, when you make staff redundant, it affects employee morale. It can also be a timely and unpleasant process for everyone involved. Plus, if business picks up, there might be an extensive and perhaps expensive recruitment process to then go through.

Oodles of options

So, as HR consultants, we always advise businesses to explore the following first:

  1. Cost cutting – review budgets, expenses, contracts with suppliers and other business costs to see if any costs can be saved or reduced.
  2. Halt recruitment – press pause on any new recruitment.
  3. Introduce a pay freeze or cuts – review salaries and halt any increases or look to make small cuts where feasible.
  4. Terminate contractors – pull back on self employed consultants and other contractors before considering permanent employees.
  5. Redeploy/retrain staff – move staff from their current position or department and place them in another.
  6. Reduce overtime – review the current overtime arrangements with a view to reducing or banning it temporarily.
  7. Flexible working –  offer flexible working across the business including part-time work, job sharing, and increased home-working.
  8. Career breaks – offer an agreed period of absence from work that is usually unpaid.
  9. Early retirement – offer early retirement incentives to eligible staff members who meet certain criteria.
  10. Extra holiday – offer employees the opportunity to take extra holiday in exchange for a pro rata reduction in salary.
  11. And finally, offer voluntary redundancy.

Whatever option is taken, to protect yourself and the business, you must ensure that the correct processes are followed and all arrangements are carefully documented.

If you need help and guidance to review employment contracts, change terms and conditions, talk through possible scenarios or assistance with planning and implementation of new employment strategies without make redundancies, then contact Debby on 07780 692784 or

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