Making tough choices: Minimising the impact of redundancies | EEF

Making tough choices: Minimising the impact of redundancies

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In today’s competitive global market, manufacturers must constantly improve their efficiency and lower their fixed costs. This can sometimes lead to parting ways with redundant employees.

While redundancies are a fact of business life, there are right and wrong, lawful and unlawful, fair and unfair, and planned and knee-jerk ways to manage the process.

Redundancies are challenging for all involved: businesses want to treat their employees with sensitivity and respect, and changes affect the morale of all staff (not just those who move on). The HR and management team often struggle to retain the confidence of their remaining staff and keep them committed to long-term business goals.


Nearly every level and type of manager has a role to play in minimising the short-term challenges and capitalising on the potential for long-term benefits of a redundancy initiative. Here are a few redundancy challenges that companies should address in their plans:


Redundancy challenge

Responsible party


Evaluating alternatives to a redundancy scheme

Managing Directors

A third-party evaluation of business growth, productivity and efficiency opportunities

Identifying redundant positions through a fair, lawful and transparent system

Managing Directors, Operating Directors, HR Directors

Take a strategic approach to redundancies with a matrix for determining redundancies with measurable, quantitative evaluations and input from at least two managers for qualitative measures

Identifying and mitigating potential legal challenges

HR directors

Seek guidance from an employment law expert to ensure all processes and communications for ramifications from legislation and case law

Ensuring effective communication with trade union

HR directors

Have a plan for effective trade union negotiations

Ensuring employee representatives have appropriate training and information necessary to do their job

HR managers

Implement a training and communication programme to facilitate effective redundancy support for employee representatives to minimise the possibility of employee tribunals

Remaining employees must undertake tasks previously undertaken by redundant workers

HR managers, Training managers

Develop redundancy training programme

Managers need guidance on how to manage the aftermath

HR manager

Redundancy support for managers training programme

Handling redundant employees with sensitivity

HR managers

Develop outplacement, redundancy packages and job search assistance programme

Communicating redundancy programme to employees and press

Marcomms managers, HR managers

Pre-announcement plan for communicating the benefits of the programme for the business and employees long-term as well as the measures in place to minimise the impact of the redundancy programme


A period of redundancy is always challenging for a business and its workers. However, with proper planning and support, the path forward becomes clear.

EEF has worked with manufacturers across the UK who have come face-to-face with redundancies and come out stronger. Through understanding current best practices, the competitive landscape of the global industry and with a team of top experts in employment law, employee relations and management & leadership, EEF can serve as a trusted partner and advisor for UK manufacturers.

Dealing with or planning for a redundancy? Our Redundancy support for managers and Redundancy support for employee representatives training and consultancy support will help you plan and implement a redundancy programme and move your business on afterwards. Get in touch with us at or 0845 293 9850.


Senior Adviser

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