How to manage redundancies and change in a small business
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As the economy continues to change, it is important that small businesses can be agile and continue to adapt. This can mean managing redundancies and making other changes.

As you know, whilst change can be positive, it can also be challenging, and means having a deeper look at what is currently in place in your business. It’s important to think about questions like:

  • Is it working?
  • Is it cost effective?
  • Is it sustainable?
  • Is it required?

If the answer to any of these is ‘no’, you might need to look at your structure and processes to see where things can be changed and improved, and/or if savings can be made.

Here at citrus HR we are experienced with helping small businesses manage these changes in a sensitive way. No matter the size of your business, we can support you with these key ways for making change.


When you spot the need to make changes to the financial and/or operational structure of your business, you might consider restructuring.  This process can lead to redundancies, though this is not always the case. It can often be about looking at the job roles that are in place and considering;

  • Are they still required?
  • Do they focus on the correct things to support the business?
  • Are the right people with the right skills in these jobs?
  • Do they add value?

Frequent areas that may change as part of a restructure are:

  • Job descriptions
  • Job titles
  • Line management
  • Job role/responsibilities
  • Salary

There can also be more significant changes such as identifying posts which are no longer required. This can often leads to potential redundancies.


A redundancy is when the focus and/or requirements of your business may have changed and as a result there are roles that are no longer required.  The impact of this is that the role gets placed at risk of redundancy, and removed from the structure, which means the person in that role is then made redundant.

In making a redundancy it is important that you can demonstrate the role is genuinely no longer required, and evidence and justify the reason for this change.  If yo remove a post we would advise a period of at least 6 months where you could not recruit into the same role, otherwise you may be exposed to claims of unfair dismissal. The only exception to this if there then a significant change to the business leading you to require the post once again (something you would need to be able to provide evidence of).

In going through a redundancy process there are legal requirements and best practices that you need to follow. It’s vital that you enter a full and thorough consultation process with the employee(s) in question.

The top three things to keep in mind as far as employees’ rights and best practices are:

  1. Providing a minimum of 48 hours’ notice to consult is best practice and the minimum we would advise
  2. The right to bring a staff or union representative to the meeting
  3. The right to a minimum of 2 formal consultation meetings, occasionally 3 depending on circumstances etc.

Change, no matter how it comes about, can be unnerving for employees. It can cause upset and panic about what lies ahead.  Communication in any change process is therefore essential, and if managed effectively you can limit the amount of negative impact felt across the business.

People appreciate openness and honesty, so ensuring you share regular updates and keep people aware of the change will help to limit any negative fallout.

We understand the challenges that these processes can bring, and the time it takes from a management perspective to do these fully and well.  Why not let citrus HR take some of the pain away and support you step by step through the process?



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