COVID-19: Are there any alternatives to redundancies or lay-offs?

By agreement, which should be in writing, your staff may agree to accept a pay cut or take an extended leave, unpaid or with some pay.

If your employee is opposing what is suggested, it is likely to be deemed that employment has been terminated with redeployment on the offered terms. The deemed dismissal will be subject to the test of reasonableness, if the employee can bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal. The employer may claim ‘some other substantial reason’ as the reason for dismissal. Each situation will be fact sensitive.

In the redundancy process, voluntary redundancies should be offered.

Your employee may be entitled to take unpaid parental leave and may agree to take it. The entitlement is to 18 weeks’ leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday. The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child, unless agreed otherwise, and the leave is to be taken in weeks.


Authors: Kiril Moskovchuk

Published: 19 Mar 2020


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