A German Airline were planning to close their UK Business and sadly make the roles of the 9 staff in the UK (a mixture of pilots, medics, and admin staff) redundant. They wanted to support the staff, wherever practical, but needed support and guidance on the due process in respect of the redundancies in the UK [redundancies in Germany are generally complex and often end in litigation]. The Airline engaged a UK legal firm to advise them and via a recommendation (we have provided HR services to the legal firm previously) we were asked to coordinate and undertake the staff consultation process.
We coordinated a “town hall” meeting with all of the affected staff, explaining the situation and reasons behind it. We then introduced the formal HR process and explained what would happen next, with the programme of staff consultations.
All staff were then taken through individual consultations, where we explained in detail what was happening and gave them the opportunity to offer feedback and suggestions on how redundancies might be avoided.
Any ideas from staff were relayed to the Airline – we also arranged for a senior director to come over from Germany and meet with the team. Despite some interesting suggestions these didn’t transpire into anything.
The staff were then taken through a final round of consultations where the roles were confirmed as redundant. We supported the German payroll team in calculating the benefits due to staff including redundancy payments, ex-gratia payments, payments compensating for annual leave and payments in lieu of notice, as well as any additional rewards/bonuses that were due.
On completion of the project, we successfully managed the offboarding of all the staff and even received thanks and praise from the staff for making the process clear and seamless which was lovely to hear. We also received thanks from the company who seemed delighted that the process was managed so professionally.
We also provided support with practical applications of closing the site and the business, with some win-win solutions for the business and the staff which were appreciated by both.
The UK Business is now closed, and we may the opportunity to support the German business in the future.