Latest Blog Posts

A guide to Restructuring; What does it mean, and how can we implement successfully?

As a business, when you are faced with restructuring the roles in an organisation, it can be a challenging and potentially upsetting time for all of those involved and impacted by the restructure. It is essential that processes are handled appropriately in accordance with the associated legal parameters, such as changing terms and conditions and/or redundancy. At the same time, balancing good communications and ensuring all processes are handled fairly and sensitively, tensions can run high at these times due to the uncertainty of the situation and individuals’ roles.

Remember that no two restructures will be the exact same and you should always ensure that you seek legal advice should you need it before progressing any further.

What does restructuring mean and involve?

Restructuring can involve different situations including:

  • the merger of two or more organisations,
  • a transfer of activity from one organisation to another,
  • division of an organisation into separate organisations,
  • re-distribution of work amongst employee’s, redeployment, variations of employees’ terms and conditions, or
  • even redundancy.

As you can see the above list is varied and can involve many different factors and legal requirements that impact your organisation and ultimately your employees.

Whatever the reason for the restructure, remember your employees are at the heart of the changes and its more than likely that even if the restructure is beneficial to all it may impact some employees’ differently. It is imperative that a proper and fair process is undertaken to ensure that you mitigate any potential risks to your business.

Remember, communication, communication, communication is fundamental and key to the success of a process, whatever the circumstances!

You need to ensure that you have sought the appropriate employment law advice when you are proposing any of the above restructures, otherwise you may run the risk of possibly being in breach of your employee’s rights. If structural and contractual changes are not managed correctly, you run the risk of the below:

  • A disengaged and detached workforce, impacting morale
  • Having a negative perceptions as an employer
  • Reduced levels of performance and productivity
  • Increased levels of sickness including work related stress
  • Loss of valuable employees, where they feel forced to leave the organisation
  • Subsequent claims for breach of contract and constructive dismissal (and possible wrongful dismissal claims)

What can we do to ensure that any implementation is a success?

In order for the implementation of any restructure to be successful it is important to ensure that you think about the below, this will help you to think about what it is your trying to achieve as the end result and ultimately how this may affect your employee’s.

Define your organisational goals

Your organisational strategy and goals need to be aligned in order to ensure that the right restructuring model is implemented. This will help an employee to understand the reasons why the changes are needed and it will also help to identify and define the vision of the organisation as a whole.


You will want to ensure that you take the time to plan and investigate all options before deciding on whether or not any form of restructuring is needed. If you need as an organisation to reduce your costs; then it is wise to ensure that you look at all the options available to you to mitigate this and ultimately to mitigate the need for any restructuring at all.


You need to place a strategic focus on your people, if you have defined your organisational goals then your people will play an important role in this strategy, think about how you can retain your key talent and skills to ensure that as an organisation you grow and take your people with you, remember after all your people are your biggest asset.

Remember also that those not affected will also have a perception of how their colleagues are treated, and their own potential to remain with the organisation.


It is a good idea that when you are implementing any form of restructure that you communicate with your work force at all times. Being clear with your communication will help to land any form of restructuring and will ensure that your people are fully engaged with the process. Having a clear communication strategy will help to keep everyone informed and will help to avoid any mis-communication and gossip.


As we have said any form of restructure can be difficult and challenging for all of those involved, however by providing support to your employees’, be that outplacement support, in-house support, 1-2-1’s or even an Employee Assistance Programme will help to give the level of support that employees need at a time of change and uncertainty.

Remember that employees will react differently to change, but if you want to support your employees and ensure that they are guided through a process in the best way possible.


What legal processes must be adhered to: contractual variations and consultation, redundancy procedure, collective consultation (possibility of 20 or more dismissals).

If you are an employer who is looking to implement any form of restructure and would like further guidance to ensure that you follow a fair and legally compliant process, please contact a member of the View HR team for an initial discussion.