Redundancy may occur when an employer contemplates the introduction of a major change in production, programme, organisation, structure or technology of an undertaking that is likely to entail terminations of employment of workers in the industry. Redundancy can also occur when an undertaking is closed down or undergoes an arrangement or amalgamation and the closed down arrangement or amalgamation causes:
(a) Severance of the legal relationship of a worker and employer as it existed immediately before the close down, arrangement or amalgamation, and
(b) As a result of and in addition to the severance that worker becomes unemployed or suffers any diminution in the terms and conditions of employment.
What should I do, as an employer, if I plan to undertake redundancy?
An employer who contemplates or plans to carry out redundancy should:
- Provide in writing to the Chief Labour Officer and the trade union concerned, not later than three months before the contemplated changes, all relevant information including the reason for any termination, the number and categories of workers likely to be affected and the period within which any termination is to be carried out; and
- Consult the trade union concerned on measures to be taken to avert or minimise the termination as well as measures to mitigate the adverse effects of any termination on the workers concerned such as finding alternative employment.
Is an employer supposed to pay the worker who is affected by the redundancy?
Yes. The worker who is affected by the redundancy is entitled to be paid by the employer prior to the close down, re-arrangement or amalgamation.
What should an employer consider in determining the terms and conditions of employment of a worker who has suffered diminution?
The employer should take into account the past services and accumulated benefits, if any, of the worker in respect of the employment.
How do I, as an employer, establish the redundancy pay and terms and conditions of payment of affected workers?
The redundancy pay and the terms and conditions of payment are subject to negotiation between the employer or representative of the employer on the one hand and the worker or the trade union concerned on the other.
Where should an employer make a complaint in case there is a dispute regarding the redundancy pay and the terms and conditions of payment?
An employer may refer any dispute concerning the redundancy pay and terms and conditions of payment to the National Labour Commission for settlement and the decision of the Commission shall be final.
Are there any particular categories of workers who should not covered by the redundancy pay and other terms of conditions?
The following categories of workers are not covered:
- Workers engaged under a contract of employment for a specified period of time or for specified work
- Workers serving a period of probation or qualifying period of employment of reasonable duration determined in advance
- Workers engaged on a casual basis.