November 8, 2022
By Owen John
On 4 November, thousands of employees at Twitter were dismissed with immediate effect. They were told that they were being made redundant via email and blocked from getting into their offices and using company computers straight away. Musk claimed he had no choice and the mass sackings were necessary to make sure the company survives. Unsurprisingly, the decision has received a lot of backlash, so this month, our employment law team has been considering collective redundancies and how employers can lay off their staff fairly and in line with the law.
Can employers sack a big group of their employees in one go?
If a business is struggling, it may have no choice but to make redundancies. Whenever an employer is considering making 20 or more employees redundant within a 3-month period, this triggers rules on “collective consultation” in the UK. This means that employers have a strict set of rules to follow in order to avoid Employment Tribunal claims or even criminal offences.
Twitter seems to be following these rules with its UK employees so far, as it hasn’t yet dismissed them (unlike its employees in the US and around the world) but has started to consult with them on doing so.
So, how can employers legally make staff redundant?
An employer could be fined or even be carrying out a criminal offence if it doesn’t follow the collective consultation rules.
If you need further information on redundancies and company restructuring, please register for our free webinar on 24 November, or get in touch with Owen John on email@example.com / 02920 829 118 for a free initial chat to see how we can help you.
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