Record increase in calls to Acas helpline in relation to redundancies

06 August 2020

There has been much discussion surrounding the unfortunate probability that many employers will have to make staff redundant as a result of the economic turbulence caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.

Acas has now confirmed that over the course of June and July 2020, it received an increase of over 160% in the number of phone calls relating to redundancies, when compared to the same period the previous year.

Susan Clews, Acas Chief Executive, said:

"At the moment nearly a third of calls to our helpline are redundancy related. The economic impact of coronavirus, alongside fears around the furlough scheme tapering off, has left many employers and their staff concerned about their future livelihoods.

Some businesses have found innovative ways to deal with the crisis through restructuring that has allowed them to safeguard jobs in consultation with trade unions. 

Our advice in this area recommends alternatives to redundancies, which should always be used be a last resort, as well how to follow the law if it cannot be avoided."

In recognition of this steep increase to the number of queries concerning redundancies, Acas has issued key advice for businesses, and guidance on managing staff redundancies.

Acas also reiterates the recent law changes which mean that, when calculating redundancy or notice pay for furloughed staff, employers are required to use their full normal pay and not a reduced rate due to furlough.

CIPP comment

The CIPP offers a redundancy factsheet, which outlines the rules and correct procedures around redundancy and redundancy pay.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.