Ikea has announced that this Summer 2020 it will be closing one of its large stores in Coventry which means that there are currently 352 members of staff that are at risk of redundancy and are undergoing consultation.
The closure has been announced as a direct result of the supposed "consistent losses" of the store since it has opened in 2007. In particular, more recently, the store has seen a change in consumers' attitudes and behaviour which means that less customers are coming through the doors of the Coventry store.
Impact of Redundancy
Redundancies are often the biggest impact when a business has financial difficulties. When work of a particular kind, or in a particular place diminishes – such as here, the store closing meaning that the jobs are no longer required – the workforce are often made to leave as well.
It is an unfortunate situation for many employees and often for the employer too as it stands to lose some loyal employees through no-one's fault.
There is a process that must be followed when redundancies are proposed and that is to ensure that the best possible way is considered to avoid any redundancies from actually being made – the employer just needs to do its best to avoid losing the people altogether.
The process will involve consultations between the business and the affected employees, with the employees having an opportunity to make suggestions to avoid redundancy and also for both sides to consider whether any other roles within the company may be appropriate, provided that the vacancies are there. This means that employers must consider the option of 'redeployment' – where an employee takes on a different role in order to remain employed by the company.
In other circumstances, an alternative role may not be appropriate for a variety of reasons – maybe it simply is not there, or perhaps it is not similar enough to the role that the employee has been carrying or even that its location is not relevant to the affected employee. All of those reasons are reasonable grounds for the redeployment opportunity to be turned down.
If redundancy cannot be avoided, and a relevant role cannot be found for the employee, that employee is entitled to receive a redundancy package which is calculated by reference to the employee's age, length of service and weekly salary (capped at £485 as of April 2019).
We Can Help
If you are an employer that is looking to make redundancies, or an employee that may be affected by such a process, our team of expert employment lawyers are on hand to help guide you through the process and advise on the options available to you. Please do not hesitate to contact our team on 01245 228141 or via e-mail.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.