How to Rehire Redundant Employees without the Catches
Written by Geoff Newman on 12/05/2010
Rehiring redundant employees can be a very quick and sensible process - many organisations make attempts to attract their redundant employees to work for them again - but there are certain legal issues that should be considered during the process of rehiring ex-employees.
The reason why companies rehire ex-employees is that they do not have to put those employees under such a rigorous training process, since they are familiar with the business and are only required to attend a refresher course so that their knowledge can be revived and their existing skills are enhanced. While doing so, the business is saving money that would have been spent on the training process of new employees.
But there are certain legal issues that should be considered as well. Many organisational rules have to be considered at the same time, such as when an employee is dismissed or reassigned and he is no longer in a continuous employment position, certain organisations follow the rule that there should be a time gap before rehiring the same individual. This is done to ensure that the employee is not able to claim anything with regards to his or her previous employment position. There should be a gap of at least one week between the previous employment period and the current employment.
But in some cases the gap between two periods of employment is regarded as ‘temporary cessation of work’. For example, in the case of a teacher whose employment contract ends during the end of the summer term and the next contract starts in the beginning of the autumn term. If the employee claims, then the redundancy payment authority would consider all the relevant aspects regarding period of absence and period of employment to reach a decision. But if it is stated in the contract, then redundancy payments are not payable in the case of rehiring or re-employment.
It is a big concern for employers that re-employment of ex-employees can increase tribunal claims made by the employees. But if there is a gap between the previous employment period and the current employment period then such risks minimise, as the employees will not have the full term of employment period that is required to make tribunal claims. But claims made against unfair deductions from pay and discrimination within an organisation do not need any sort of qualifying and can be made by any employee who is facing such problems in a work environment irrespective of what the dismissal was or the rehiring time period.
When ex-employees return to a company as new employees they are not in as strong a position as the employer is. The employer has the power to make changes in the reward package but unfair changes could lead to claims made by the employees against the employer. It is therefore necessary for the employer to justify each and every change made in the reward package so that he is in a better position to defend himself. But mostly, rehiring previous employees is beneficial for the organisation, since familiar faces are familiar with the work environment as well.