The weekend printed press has reported on the decision by the parent of P&O to dismiss its ship based staff. If you have not seen the news P&O has sacked all ship based staff citing they have been made redundant, circa 800 staff in total. It is reported P&O intends to replace those dismissed staff with agency workers.

It is good practice (and a legal requirement), to consult with staff regarding redundancies or to engage with any relevant trade union as well as notify the government depending on the number involved

This approach is not only favourable insofar as managing the redundancy process itself is concerned but, if done properly , avoids potential unfair dismissal claims and the resulting damages. The risk of getting it wrong can be expensive both in meeting claims for unfair dismissal as well as reputational damages which can be equally harmful on a commercial basis.

It remains to be seen whether P&O can avoid numerous unfair dismissal claims. However, it is strongly recommended if you operate a business that you follow due procedure and guard against claims from employees. This includes notice monies, a “Protective Award” if consultation has not taken place as well as redundancy pay and loss of earnings

Peter Tracy has assisted many local businesses who find their staffing requirements have reduced, he can help in both explaining your legal obligations, but also solving any issues or concerns that arise.

Consulting an experienced solicitor is your insurance policy against the possibility of a claim but also in providing comfort for your business. If you have any redundancy issues or queries, contact Peter at no initial cost to see how he can help.

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