rhw Solicitors provide expert employment law advice to employers and employees alike. Please contact us on 01483 302000 or guildford@rhw.co.uk if you need legal advice.

However there is for more to the redundancy process than just the legal angle. If you have to make individuals redundant you can do it in the right way or you can be remembered as doing the minimum. As part of our occasional ‘guest blog’ project, rhw are delighted to welcome this contribution from Joanna Gaudoin who runs ‘Inside Out Image’.

Over to you Joanna…


Making redundancies is frequently a stressful experience. Even in the scenario where it relates to under performers, the process of having to tell people their position is no longer viable is never a pleasant one.

The priority is ensuring that the legal process is followed correctly. This helps to avoid additional processes and cost, and begins to facilitate individuals leaving the firm on the best possible terms.

Facilitating a ‘good’ redundancy

The firms who manage to facilitate a ‘good’ redundancy know that there are two crucial things to cover: first, make sure the people delivering the news and managing the redundancy process are equipped for the task. Next, think about and plan the exit you want to give people.

Equipping the right people to facilitate redundancies

Whilst the ‘who’ might seem obvious by position, it’s always worth considering carefully whether those people are best placed to execute what is not just a functional process.

This means considering whether these people are clear on the legal process and also have good ‘soft’ skills to make sure they carry out the process in a way that feels appropriate and human to those at the other end of it.

This is where these ‘soft’ skills, which are essential for smooth and successful client relationships, become essential when dealing with colleagues. People will remember how they were made redundant long after the redundancy and they will talk about the how widely. Colleagues who remain will also take note of how their soon to be former colleagues are being treated; at this stage already low morale has the potential to plummet further.

If you have little choice in who has to facilitate the redundancy, then ensure they have the skills to facilitate the type of exit you want to give people; and if they don’t have those skills or they are poor, help them improve them.

Plan the exit you want to give people

The legal process of course sets out the financial obligations you have to offer different people in different contractual positions. However, it’s worth considering whether you want their exit ‘package’ to include simply a pure financial contribution or something else. That ‘something else’ is often support to help the person move forward with their career. This is particularly relevant when:

  • Individual(s) have been at your company a long time, so any experience of putting themselves into the job market is from a long-time ago.
  • It’s going to be challenging to find a similar role in the current market and individual(s) may need to ‘pivot’ somewhat to find employment.
  • Confidence has been hit and individual(s) could benefit from greater support to move on.
  • You are keen as a business to support people to a greater degree than money alone can achieve, by offering them expert help.

This expert help is referred to as ‘outplacement’ and most of the larger companies offer it when they are making redundancies. Outplacement is about equipping individuals with the skills they need to re-enter the job market. Very often this relates to positioning them well for it. This covers a range of support such as:

  • Working with them on a CV that positions them effectively for their next position and includes some good ‘hooks’ so prospective employers are keen to meet them.
  • Developing their LinkedIn presence, so they have a high quality profile for those searching for them personally and the right level of visibility for others who don’t know them to find them via searches and other connections.
  • Building a job search strategy so they are clear on what they want in a new role so they can be more focused, consider clearly the routes to market, and have a strong plan.
  • Improving their interview skills whether in-person or virtually to give them the best chance of success at the final hurdles. Working with them on meaningful questions responses, and how they come across so they build rapport effectively with the interviewer.

Of course, this support is completely tailored to each individual.  It may also include additional expert support, where required, such as confidence and/or working on specific workplace behaviours to maximise the chances of the individual getting a new role in a shorter time period.

To conclude

Redundancy is difficult for everyone involved and can have a lasting, negative effect on an organisation. However, it is possible to do the necessary but in a better way which allows everyone involved to move on and start on a new phase more positively.

If this is something you are interested in offering the employees you need to make redundant, please contact Joanna Gaudoin, Inside Out Image whose expertise lies in this area.

Client testimonial:

“I used Joanna’s services to rework all my application related documents and get those in the best possible shape.

She is a fabulous career adviser, coach and word smith. Joanna makes a sometimes cumbersome process easy to navigate. She really wants to understand what makes you tick, what happened and why in your career, your motivation, why you made certain career decisions.

She asks excellent questions. I had the most valuable conversations with her, which prepared me in the best way possible for the interviews.

Needless to say that all the work paid off and I landed my dream job!

I can highly recommend Joanna’s services and plan to go back to work with her again on my next move.”

S. Dobbert, Head of M&A and Global Strategic ProjectsGlobal Pharmaceutical Company

About Joanna

Joanna Gaudoin, Inside Out Image, specialises in helping ambitious professionals and their organisations improve performance and achieve their goals.

She does this by helping them master and strategically use the business skills of Personal Impact and Relationship Management. These skills are required for professional success.

Before establishing Inside Out Image, Joanna worked in marketing and consultancy in large corporates. She understands the business world and its challenges. She now helps organisations and individuals understand how to succeed in it.