Your employer must decide who is at risk of redundancy by identifying a ‘pool’ of employees from who to select. If your employer includes or excludes the wrong people, you may challenge the redundancy as an unfair dismissal. Once a selection pool is identified, the procedure for selecting from the pool should be objective. You and other employees put at risk of redundancy, will be scored against selection criteria, and usually the lowest scorers are those selected to be made redundant.
The selection procedure and criteria should be discussed with, and agreed with you or your representatives. Each employee in the pool must be shown their scores and be given a chance to respond to and challenge the scoring if they are selected for redundancy. If you think the process is not fair or has not been properly followed, you may have a claim for compensation for unfair dismissal.
The sooner you take expert advice from an employment law solicitor, the better. If you are on maternity leave, special rules will apply and you will have extra protection against redundancy.
Yes, your employer must consult with you about the proposed redundancies as soon as possible, including the number of redundancies.
They will usually have to consult with you individually, but special rules will apply, for example, if 20 or more redundancies are to be made at one establishment within a 90-day period. In that case, the employer has to consult with a trade union or elected employee representatives for at least 30 day before the dismissals take place.
If 100 or more redundancies are proposed within a 90-day period, then the consultation must begin at least 90 days before the dismissals take place. You can claim up to 13 weeks’ pay (known as a ‘Protective Award’) if your employer fails to consult properly, and it may also mean that your dismissal was unfair.
Your employer may ask for volunteers for redundancy, but they do not have to accept your application, as you may have the skills and experience that they want to retain. Some employers offer an enhanced package to encourage people to apply for voluntary redundancy. Your employer will usually ask you to sign a Settlement Agreement to ensure you do not bring a Tribunal claim against the employer, once you have received the improved exit payment. You should take legal advice from a solicitor on the terms of the Agreement and it is a legal requirement for you to do so if the Agreement is to be legally enforceable.
We can advise you and it won't cost you, as your employer will pay your legal costs for advice on the Agreement.
No, your employer must consider whether there are any suitable alternative roles for you before making you redundant, and if appropriate, offer the alternative role to you, or an opportunity to apply for that role. The employer’s obligation to look for alternative roles for you continues up to the day your employment ends. If you start an alternative role it could be on a trial basis, depending on how different it is to the position from which you were made redundant.
If the alternative role is not reasonably suitable, you are still entitled to your redundancy pay. If you turn down an alternative role which is reasonable and suitable for you, you may not be eligible to receive your redundancy pay. If there are no alternative roles, then your employer must give you a reasonable amount of paid time off to attend job interviews.
If you have at least two continuous years’ employment, you will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. The amount depends on your age, your length of service, and your gross weekly wage. You should receive:
A week’s gross pay is currently capped at £538. You are also entitled to your contractual notice pay or a payment in lieu of notice, depending on what your contract says. If you haven’t been paid your statutory redundancy pay, you have six months to start the claims process. If you are owed notice pay or benefits, it is just three months (less one day).
You can claim that there was not a genuine redundancy situation, and that it was really a sham. You can also claim if your employer failed to consult properly, or selected you unfairly or did not offer you alternative employment when it was available. If you have been dismissed and it is not practical for you to return, we can work on negotiating a financial settlement as an alternative to issuing a claim in an Employment Tribunal.
If you have been unfairly dismissed you only have a limited amount of time in which to act to preserve your employment rights. You need to have been employed for at least two years or have been selected for redundancy for one of the automatically unfair reasons, such as discrimination. You have three months (less one day) to issue a claim by starting the mandatory Acas Early Conciliation process.
You only have a limited amount of time to take action to exercise your employment rights – usually just three months (less one day) from the date your employment ends.
We can help you and provide advice and support. You need a specialist employment lawyer to pursue the best outcome for you. We understand how it feels, as we have helped many hundreds of employees over the years, and because we also act for employers, so are aware of what your employer is likely to respond with and the arguments they will make.
Our employment law specialist based in our Newbury office will be happy to discuss your case with you. You can call or email us using our contact details below, or if you'd prefer use our contact form. We will be happy to discuss your options and guide you through the process.