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Redundancy queries hit new high in November

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The number of firms and employees seeking advice on redundancy hit a high last month, according to figures released by employment relations service Acas.

Almost a third (31%) of enquiries to Acas’ helpline in November were on redundancy, lay-offs and business transfers, a rise of 12% since May.

The Acas website also received a rise in people viewing guidance on redundancy issues with more than 15,000 visits a week in November, compared to 4,000 in May – a jump of almost 300%.

Enquiries to the Acas helpline have shown that employers are most likely to ask about their legal responsibilities, consultation periods and how to decide which employees to make redundant.

Common enquiries from employees include asking about their own notice period and redundancy pay levels.

Ed Sweeney, Acas chairman, said: “Given the challenging economic environment we are in, these figures are not surprising.

“We are urging businesses to resist any knee-jerk reactions, and ensure that decisions are assessed well ahead of being made.

"Thinking about the longer term or looking at alternatives to redundancy, such as redeployment, are just two areas where businesses may be able to save jobs and money in the medium to long term”.

The Acas website (www.acas.co.uk) has a Q&A section on redundancies.

Topics covered include – what is redundancy pay and how do I work out what I’m entitled to?

How should my employer be selecting employees for redundancy?

When are redundancies ‘unfair’?

Should my employer help me to find other work?

How much notice are employees entitled to?

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