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  • Writer's pictureSarah Merry

The Big Re-Build

In response to conversations we have had with clients anticipating their businesses picking up and the need to start hiring again, we thought we would share some information to assist with any discussions you may have around re-engagement of redundant employees.

In our rapidly changing economic climate many organisations were forced to adapt to a new normal with an initial focus on survival and the need to cut costs. As restrictions lift, businesses are starting to look forward and in doing so need to consider how to rebuild their workforce. This may include hiring for roles that had only been made redundant due to the direct impact of COVID.

It’s also worth considering that if business structures have changed and perhaps roles too, due to Covid, ( i.e. home working / technology / processes ) then previous employees might not have exactly the skills that are now needed. Please speak to Rockpool so we can work together to ensure that future hires – whether it be a previous employee or a new employee are exactly the right fit ….

Here are some of the questions that hiring managers might have at this time…

Can we re-hire our redundant employees?

You can re-hire an employee previously made redundant into the same or similar role either by reaching out to them to say the business circumstances have changed or indicating that applications are welcomed from employees made redundant due to COVID’s direct impact on business performance.

Do we have to wait a certain period of time before hiring someone new into the redundant role?

Employers are not subject to any legally-imposed time period before which they can hire again for a redundant role. However timing should be a consideration to mitigate the risk of allegations of non-genuine redundancy and potential claims for unfair dismissal by redundant employees.

Do we have to wait a certain period of time before re- hiring someone that we made redundant?

Employers are under no obligation to wait a certain period of time before offering the job to the redundant employee – same job, similar or other

If we need to re-hire for a role we made redundant do we have to offer the role back to the redundant employee?

If the previous role does become available once more, an employer is not obliged to offer the role to the now redundant incumbent

Employers are under no obligation to offer the redundant employee his or her job back and can instead, offer the role to someone else. Hiring someone new for a redundant role soon after termination may create doubt as to the genuineness of the redundancy*.

How does re-hiring a redundant employee effect their continuity of employment?

If an employer wishes to re-hire a redundant employee, but wants to make sure that their continuity of employment is broken, there should be at least a clear calendar week (which starts on a Sunday) between the termination of one period of employment and the start of a new period

It needs to be made clear in the contract that this is a new period of employment and that previous employment does not count towards any continuity of employment

If we re-hire a redundant employee do they have to pay their redundancy money back to us ?

If a business chooses to re-hire an employee, that individual does not need to repay any redundancy payment

*To avoid the risk of an unfair dismissal claim made against the business by a redundant employee, the business must be able to show:

  • the original redundancy was fair and genuine (business closure, relocation or to lower costs) and not simply an exercise in releasing people

  • the redundancy was unavoidable at the time; there was no demand for the work due to COVID and

  • the ‘financial prospects’ of the business have now changed (and only after the date of redundancy) to such an extent that the business now needs to recruit new workers.

We are talking to candidates in all sectors of the travel industry all the time. There are some incredibly talented people looking for new opportunities at the moment – if you would like to speak to Rockpool about your business rebuilding its team we would love to help. We can help with temporary, contract or permanent staff at all levels across all disciplines.

This document is for reference purposes only.

Please always seek legal advice from a reputable employment law specialist for guidance in these matters.


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