For some businesses, restructuring will be an unfortunate effect of the COVID-19 crisis; a necessary evil.
But restructuring can be a challenging process to navigate, and it can have far wider implications than just the individuals who are immediately affected, so we recommend it really is a last resort.
However, if it is a path you need to go down, here are our 5 golden rules (particularly at this time!):
1. Employment law still stands. Despite us being in an unprecedented time that is NEW for many of us, the OLD legislation is still in place. Essentially, that means that restructuring during COVID-19 is no different to restructuring at any other time. The same principles apply now as they did before.
2. Shortcutting is not an option. There is a recommended process that has been defined by case law over a number of years, and you can’t expedite that without significant risk.
3. Be sure of your rationale. The WHY that underpins a restructure is critical, and so is the evidence you have to support your why. It is also important to demonstrate a clear link between the business rationale and the specific roles that are affected in the proposal.
4. Use facts. Speculation isn’t grounds for a restructure. You can’t rely on predictions, so if you don’t have factual evidence to justify a change, you’re probably not ready to go down this path.
5. Be open minded. Have a genuine desire to consult and be authentic in considering the feedback you receive.
We’re often approached when a business thinks they’ve found the ‘easy’ solution to a problem. But in our experience, restructuring is not the easy solution. It’s complex, and often, it doesn’t fail to solve the problem either so we encourage you to think carefully and seek advice.