Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Have staff asked for anything in particular to get these changes pushed through?
You would not have to be making the current posts redundant, in fact you may not be able to do so if you are going to keep the employees on but just on reduced hours. So what you would have to do is implement the changes as a change to their existing terms and conditions. Ideally this would be achieved with their consent, but if that is not possible and you have to force the changes through then it is done by you terminating their existing contracts and re-issuing them with new ones incorporating the changes. So in effect you have to give them notice as per their contract (or the minimum statutory notice they are due) to end their current contracts before putting them on new ones.
It does indeed mean that once these changes have been made, any future redundancies will be calculated on their current pay at the time as previous pay bears no relevance to these calculations.
Compensating them is really a moral issue for you, not a legal one. A business is able to reduce hours if necessary and without having to compensate its employees, even if future redundancies will be affected. If you want to cover them for future redundancy payouts then what you can do is if you can see that the business may need to close, you can formally increase their hours leading up to the redundancy and then use these figures in your redundancy ay calculations, those being the ‘current’ rates.
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