Leaving Soon? - Redundancy

Redundancy can be a double edged sword. On the one hand, you may be rejoicing at the prospect of leaving your job, and on the other, the idea of having to get back into the job market can be very daunting.

Whether you are pleased about your situation or not, you should be aware of your legal rights in relation to redundancy.

Fair Selection

Firstly you should be aware of your right to fair selection. Your employer can only make you redundant for a fair and valid reason, for example:

  • Your job no longer exists due to the introduction of new systems or technology
  • Your job no longer exists as it is being done by someone else after a reorganisation of your employer’s business
  • Your employer has been taken over
  • Your employer’s business has become insolvent or stopped operating

Sometimes employers will use redundancy as a smokescreen for dismissing employees for other reasons. If you are selected for redundancy because of a discriminatory reason, you will have a claim for automatic unfair dismissal if you have worked for your employer for more than one year. If you have worked for your employer for less than one year, you can bring a discrimination claim.

Discriminatory reasons include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Disabilities

Your employer is entitled to consider your performance, length of service, attendance, and conduct when selecting you for redundancy.

Fair Process

Secondly you have the right to a fair process. Your employer is required to use a fair process during your redundancy. This includes involving you in consultations about the situation. The aim of the consultations is to try and find an alternative to making you redundant. This can include offering you a suitable alternative job within the business or transferring you to a different location.

If more than 20 employees are facing redundancy within a 90-day period, this is called a ‘collective redundancy’ and your employer will conduct the consultations with an employee representative.

Part of the fair process includes giving you the correct notice of your redundancy. You have a statutory right to one week’s notice if you have been employed for more than one month but less than two years with your employer. If you have been employed for more than two years, you are entitled to one week’s notice for every complete year of employment, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Redundancy Pay

If you have been employed by your employer for two years or more, you have the right to redundancy pay. Statutory redundancy pay is calculated with reference to your age, length of employment and weekly pay:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year of employment if you are under 22 years old
  • One week’s pay for each full year of employment if you are between 22 and 40
  • One and a half week’s pay for every full year of employment if you are over 41 years old

Statutory redundancy pay is not available for more than 20 years of employment.

Job Justice can help

If you are facing redundancy or have recently been made redundant and you feel like you need some legal advice, we can put you in touch with one of our specialist employment solicitors. Simply call us for free on 0800 533 5799 or fill in our online form and we’ll be in touch to discuss your situation.

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