The high street suffers despite falling unemployment – ensure redundancy policy is fair

We have just seen the lowest unemployment figures since May 1975, but despite this positive outlook, in many parts of the country the High Street is suffering. Already in 2018, according to the Press Association, 21,413 staff have been made redundant or had their role threatened – the bulk of these losses being at established high street chains.

Since January, Toys R Us and Maplin have filed for administration, while retailers such as New Look and Select are closing stores. The casual dining sector has also suffered, with Prezzo, Byron and Jamie’s Italian chains all shutting restaurants and culling hundreds of jobs. Supermarket giants have also made deep cuts, with Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco axing 5,200 roles between them.

Legal opinion

The High St is undergoing major structural changes coupled with arguably unsustainable business rates. As a result, cuts are likely to be ongoing. It is important to ensure that whilst there is never a good time to make redundancies; if redundancies are required the process is carried out fairly to avoid any potential unfair dismissal claims.