Can they bring a solicitor to the redundancy meeting?
As you’d expect, we’re having a lot of conversations about redundancy at the moment, and if you’re sadly having to consider redundancy, then here are some must knows:
For all staff that have worked for a continuous period of two years or more, you’ll need to follow a three-week consultation period, which includes three meetings:
- One at the beginning where you put them at risk;
- One in the middle to let them know if they were successful in applying for the remaining jobs;
- One at the end to give them notice if they were unsuccessful.
Who can they bring to the redundancy meeting?
This is a question we’ve had a lot recently, with employees looking to bring all sorts of representatives along with them.
However, what I can tell you is that they are NOT allowed to bring a solicitor with them, or – even worse – an HR consultant.
Instead, they’re allowed to bring a ‘companion’ – that person might be a work colleague, or a trade union representative (and they don’t have to be a union member to exercise that option).
However, they can only bring that companion along during the termination meeting; meeting number three – not to either of the other two.
Can you object?
If they attempt to bring a solicitor or an HR consultant, then yes: absolutely.
But if they bring a work colleague or a TU rep, then no: absolutely not.
Even if you think it’s inappropriate that they’re there, if they meet the criteria, they can’t be stopped from attending – this is virtually written in stone thanks to several Tribunals, so don’t waste energy trying to change their minds.
Other need to knows:
While they aren’t allowed to bring companions to the other two meetings, they can absolutely request notes or an audio recording of the meeting.
Our recommendation is an audio or video recording, as opposed to notes – this gives complete clarity on who said what and how they said it.
Hope this helps – if you are looking to navigate the tricky waters of redundancy, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
Alternatively, feel free to visit our Redundancy Information Centre on the Gap HR website to learn more about redundancy.