20 Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job: Redundancies are often the first thing businesses turn to when they need to cut costs, but there are other options worth considering first. Here are ten ways to spare your staff from.

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In the current economic climate many businesses need to reduce costs.

This will undoubtedly involve consideration of reducing the size of the salary bill by reducing the size of the workforce.

Before reaching the decision to make compulsory redundancies employers should consider the alternatives.

Below is a list of measures which might help reduce costs without losing skilled and experienced workers.

Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

1. Take steps to eliminate voluntary overtime

Eliminating voluntary overtime is a simple way to reduce costs.

However, HR must communicate with the workforce to ensure all employees know why overtime needs to be eliminated, as it may not please your employees.

If they have come to count on it as a regular part of their salary.

2. Recruitment freeze

In tough times it is necessary to work with the resources that you have in order to keep new costs down.

This may mean taking advantage of natural wastage.

Not replacing exiting employees, reallocating workloads.

And reshuffling workers in order to control headcount.

Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

3.   Dispense with discretionary benefits

It is a hard truth but employee benefits may have to be re-evaluated.

In boom years benefits were used to attract top employees.

But this may not be as necessary in sectors where there are more applicants than jobs.

However, extreme caution should be taken if considering the removal of contractual benefits.

4.  Reduce the working week

Many businesses are saving money and keeping on employees.

By seeking agreement to operate on a four-day week for agreed periods.

It is important to regularly review the situation.

So that a return to full time working arrangements can take place at the earliest opportunity.

5.  Reduce working hours each day

If your business is unable to consider operating a four-day work week.

Then seeking agreement with employees to reduce the hours in a working day may be another option.

6.  Freeze or reduce pay for all staff

Freezing pay is an unpopular measure but it can be another way to avoid making redundancies.

However, when freezing or reducing pay.

It is vital to balance this out by finding other ways of rewarding employees and boosting morale.

7. Promote job sharing arrangements

It may take creative solutions to help your employees through a recession.

Job sharing arrangements allow multiple people to fill one job role.

Its benefits include saving costs on pay roll and encouraging training and teamwork.

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8. Identify and encourage secondment opportunities

Secondments are a fantastic way for staff to branch out and gain knowledge in a different role or field.

The experience gained during secondments is priceless.

9.   Agree sabbaticals with senior staff

Sabbaticals seem more appealing than ever right now.

Sabbaticals are often regarded as an important part of an employee’s career development.

And may be granted for a variety of different reasons.

Including study, research, travel or voluntary work.

10. Offer opportunity to purchase extra annual leave

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Look at offering staff the opportunity to buy extra annual leave.

And sacrifice their salary on a pro rata basis to pay for it.

Again, this may only be possible on a temporary basis.

And any arrangement needs to be clearly documented with all staff concerned.

11. Reduction in Agency Staff

Reducing or eliminating the use of temporary staff.

Could provide continued employment for permanent staff at risk of redundancy.

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12. Restricting/Reducing External Recruitment

If there are current vacancies then these could either be deleted.
And the work redistributed amongst staff at risk of redundancy.

Or any vacant position could be ring-fenced and offered only to those staff (see point 5 below).

13. Overtime

A reduction in the salary bill could be achieved by introducing either a reduction or ban on overtime.

Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

14. Change to Working Practices

There are a number of routes by which an employer might seek to reduce the salary bill.

Through different ways of working. For example, employees could be offered the opportunity to:

  • Volunteer for a reduction in hours/change to part-time working
  • Job share i.e. split a full-time job between 2 workers and reach agreement as to which hours they will each work
  • V-time working (Voluntary reduced working time) i.e. employees agree to a reduction in their hours for a fixed period with a guaranteed return to full-time work when the period ends

Any changes to an employee’s terms and conditions must be allowed for either in the contract of employment or alternatively agreed in advance with the employee.

If employers impose changes in the absence of advance agreement.

Or contractual entitlement to do.

So they could face claims for breach of contract and/or constructive dismissal.

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Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

15. Redeployment/Retraining

If there are vacancies in one part of the business at a time.

When redundancies are being considered in another those vacancies could be “ring-fenced” .

And, if appropriate, be offered to employees at risk of redundancy.

Any redeployed employees will of course need to be given any necessary training.

To equip them to perform the new job.

The law provides that where employees are provided with suitable alternative employment.

They are entitled to a trial period in the new post for 4 weeks.

This period can be extended for a period of up to 3 months provided it is agreed by both parties.

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16. Secondments

Offering employees at risk of redundancy the option to work on either an internal.

Or external secondment could reduce the salary bill in the areas where redundancies are being considered.

An advantage of offering secondments is that they allow employees to develop knowledge and/or new skills.

Which might be of use to the employer’s business when the employee returns to their original position.

Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

17. Sabbatical/Career Break

Allowing employees to take a sabbatical or career break will provide the employer.

With a cost saving (assuming the sabbatical is unpaid).

And will provide the employee with the opportunity to gain new skills.

Which may be of use to the employer if and when the employee returns to work.

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Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

Care should be taken in agreeing the terms upon which an employee can return from a sabbatical.

It is essential that the employee understands that when they do want to return to employment.

The employer will do their best to accommodate them in a position.

Which is on similar terms to that which they left but that no guarantee can be made of this.

Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

18. Early Retirement

Offering early retirement could result in vacancies becoming available.

Which could be filled by employees who might otherwise be made redundant.

Age discrimination legislation means that employers need to exercise great care if exploring this option.

19. Voluntary Redundancy

Offering a voluntary redundancy package may mean that.

It is not necessary to make compulsory redundancies at all.

If employees do apply for voluntary redundancy employers.

Will need to consider their applications in light of the business’ need to retain a workforce.

Which has the right mix of experience and skills for its future operation.

Ultimately it is the employer’s decision whether or not to grant an application for voluntary redundancy.

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Tips to Avoid Dismissal from Your Job

20. Make Savings in Other Areas

The monthly salary bill will often be one of the first places that employers will look to save costs.

However, there may be other areas in which costs can be reduced which might mean that one or more jobs could be saved.

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In considering how to reduce the overall costs of a business.

Employers should undertake a review of the contracts with those who supply them with goods and services.

For example, if the employer’s business is sited in a number of locations each of which has different suppliers of goods.

Consideration should be given to having only one supplier for all locations as this could result in a cost saving.

The same exercise can be undertaken for the supply of services such as maintenance contracts.

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