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Management - Communications Plan

Statutory communication requirements

Having a clear communications strategy in place is essential to help limit the adverse impact.

Communicating the bad news about redundancy is difficult and can be badly handled. Faults range from being brutally abrupt and painting a very negative picture to being too vague and painting too optimistic a picture. Senior management and line managers need training to handle redundancies with clarity and understanding. For all parties, notice of redundancy and consultation should be communicated as two distinct stages. Consultation should include discussion about alternative work and practical support. Communication channels need to be clear to all concerned.

The communications plan can broadly be regarded as having three phases:

Before -Going public

During - Having gone public

After - Once individual staff have been told

Before going public

  • Comply with statutory requirements

  • Keep to as few staff as possible

  • Ensure legal, financial and communication plans are in place

  • Review precise business position

  • Have communication plans, to address rumours and leaks, in place

  • Examine alternatives

  • Review all stakeholders communication needs including all staff associations, shareholders, trade and local press and competition

During - having gone public

  • Comply with statutory requirements

  • Consulting with unions/ staff associations

  • Separate Notice of Redundancy

  • Separate Consultation


Communicate internally what you are doing for staff who have left
Manage organisational changes arising from the redundancy programmes
Provide counselling services on demand for the "survivors"

Statutory Communication Requirements

Written notification

Written notification must be given to the Department of Trade and Industry depending on how many employees are to be made redundant.

Written notification required

100 or more

At least 90 days

20 - 99

At least 30 days

less than 20

Not required

At least two weeks written notification must be given to individual employees who are made redundant.


Consultation with Trade Unions/ Staff Representatives

100 or more

At least 90 days

20 - 99

At least 30 days

less than 20

see below

Case law makes it clear that consultation is required for individual redundancy (ie not just multiple redundancies of more than 20) with at least the individual employees, and possibly with their representatives. Case law continually evolves, and keeping abreast of relevant decisions is vital.

Consultation has to be real and meaningful - just informing is not enough. In multiple redundancies the employee representatives must be given written notice of the following:

  • Numbers

  • Job categories

  • Procedures

  • Time-scales

  • Reasons

  • Selection criteria

  • Compensation if different from the statutory formula

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