What constitutes a restructure?
When you make any significant changes to the roles, positions, or terms of employment of your staff then you are in fact changing the structure of your business, hence the name restructuring.
You may decide to restructure your business for any number of reasons. In the case below, we discuss a company who had to relocate and, therefore, undergo a full restructure.
A Case Study
The company was coming up to the end of the lease on one of their buildings and, to their horror, the landlord told them they were not going to renew the lease.
With no other building available, the employer was obliged to consider moving production to their only other site and consolidating their operations to fit. There were several ways to achieve this and we provided advice on their best options including whether and how to reduce staff in duplicate positions, or other options such as introducing a night shift to make maximum use of the available facilities.
Such a significant change in employment conditions requires an employer to present a proposal to their workers and potentially to the union (for union members), outlining their plans.
They are required to consult in good faith and give full consideration to all responses to come up with a fair solution that works for staff while maintaining the interests of the business.
As you can imagine this could throw up a whole host of potential problems, including:
Staff refusing to change shifts and work at night
Staff wanting financial or leave compensation for doing so
Implementing revolving rosters
Health and safety implications
Adding supervisors and therefore increasing the wage bill
And possible union objection to the proposal
The company later leased a new building in a different city. People’s working conditions and, in some cases, job duties were changing, while some jobs no longer existed. This, therefore, constituted restructuring.
There is a prescribed way to consult with staff over restructuring. Getting it wrong can be very costly - always take professional advice before embarking on the process.
Restructuring to survive the impacts of COVID-19
As a direct result of the Covid-19 lockdown and the subsequent economic impacts, a business saw a big drop in forward sales and realised pretty quickly that changes had to be made to the structure of the company in order for it to survive.
Need some help?
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your plans in confidence, ensuring your restructuring process is both just and robust.