Have you got the right staffing structure?
By: Amanda Douglas
Published: 26/10/2018
There has been a lot of news headlines about liquidations.  So, if you are finding things tough, what can you do?  Staff costs are a large expense for any business.  Often, you can rearrange your staffing to be more efficient.  To do this, you need to carry out a restructure process, which can involve looking at your organisational structure to determine whether any positions can be merged or whether any positions can be removed.  Often, a different structure can allow you to carry out the same work with less employees.

Once the organisational structure is worked out, it needs to be put to affected staff as a proposal, for their comment and feedback.  There is a prescribed process for this, which requires the preparation of particular consultation documentation.  Although restructure processes can sound daunting, the process is quite straightforward and can be carried out with reasonable efficiency.  It is important to ensure that the proper process is carried out, however, as penalties and liabilities can be imposed upon the business if the correct process is not followed.  Also, if there is no good business reason for the restructure, a challenge can be made, also resulting in liabilities.

A business does not need to be suffering from financial problems or a downturn in order to carry out a restructure.  We have carried out numerous restructures during growth periods, where companies have put in place new structures to allow for growth.  For example, this might involve creating new General Manager, or Operations Manager roles and changing around other roles and tasks.  As a business grows, it is important to look at the organisational needs in terms of staffing.  In those situations, a similar restructure process should be carried out.

In all restructure situations, the business needs to set out the genuine business reasons for the change when consulting with staff.  Some care needs to be taken around this step to ensure that the right level of information is provided and that liabilities are not created.

A rule of thumb is that, where an employee’s role is changing in a substantial way, is being removed completely, or their terms and conditions are being reduced, a process will need to be followed.

As we head towards the end of the year, it is a time when employers frequently consider their staffing needs for the following year.  It is, therefore, a good time to think about these issues and to put a restructure process in place if the business wants to start the new year with a renewed approach.  A restructure process need not be daunting.  With advice from those experienced with these issues, the process can be run in an efficient and smooth way.
 
Please feel free to contact a member of our team to discuss your restructuring needs.

This is also the time of year when other staffing issues come to the fore. See our article New Year’s resolutions about staff – start the process now for more information.
 
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