Your Redundancy Rights

Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job, caused by your employer needing to reduce the workforce.

Reasons could include:

  • new technology or a new system has made your job unnecessary
  • the job you were hired for no longer exists
  • the need to cut costs means staff numbers must be reduced
  • the business is closing down or moving

If your employer is making less than 20 employees redundant in one establishment it is an individual consultation.

If your employer is making 20 or more employees redundant in one establishment within a 90 day period it is a collective redundancy.

Collective redundancies generally occur when there is a:

  • business or building closure, meaning your employer no longer needs as many employees
  • reorganisation or reallocation of work

Employers should always consult with you before making you redundant. The consultation should aim to provide you with a way to influence the redundancy process.
The consultation will normally involve:

  • speaking to you directly about why you have been selected
  • looking at any alternatives to redundancy

If this doesn't happen, your redundancy may be unfair dismissal.

Workplace Consultation

Workplace consultation involves your employer talking to you or your representatives about their plans and listening to your ideas.

If your employer is thinking about making redundancies, they should consult with any employees that could be affected by their decision. The consultation should aim to provide employees with a way to influence the redundancy process. It should be carried out with the aim of coming to an agreement about any action and should be conducted in a spirit of co-operation.

Consultation with Individuals

Your employer should always consult you individually. This will normally involve:

•speaking to you directly about why you have been selected

•looking at any alternatives to redundancy

If this doesn't happen, your dismissal for redundancy may be unfair.

Collective consultation – 20 or more redundancies

If your employer is thinking about making 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within a 90-day period, they should consult with employee representatives. Only employees are included when counting the number of redundancies, not ‘workers’ without employment status.

Who your employer will consult with depends on whether you are represented by a trade union. This process is known as collective consultation.

Consultation period and termination notices

A termination notice tells you when the last day of your employment will be, eg the day you will be made redundant. Termination notices cannot be issued until after the consultation has been completed, even if the consultation needs to go beyond the minimum period.

If the consultation is genuinely completed within the minimum period you may be issued with a termination notice. This cannot take effect until after the minimum consultation period ends unless you agree to leave early, for example by taking pay in lieu of notice.

A consultation must begin ‘in good time’ and take as long as is necessary. It should be conducted with a view to reaching agreement, but can end before agreement is reached. Your employer should give your reps a fair opportunity to comment on the proposals and suggest alternatives, to which your employer should give genuine consideration. The final decision rests with your employer.

There is no time limit to how long a consultation period may last but there is a minimum period between the start of the consultation and actual dismissals. The length of the minimum period depends on the number of redundancies that your employer is proposing, if they are proposing.

Your employer should use a fair and objective way of selecting people to make redundant. This means that it should be evidence based rather than your employer just deciding who they want to make redundant.

Normally your job must have disappeared for your employer to make you redundant. However, it can still be a genuine redundancy if someone moves into your job after their job disappears, making you redundant (called bumping). This can be difficult for your employer to justify as fair.

If your employer bases your redundancy selection on an unfair reason your redundancy will automatically be unfair and you may be able to make a claim to an Employment
Tribunal for unfair dismissal.

If your employer is making you redundant they should try to offer you suitable alternative employment within their organisation or an associated company. Your employer should consider any alternatives to making your redundant.

You may also have the right to time off for job hunting.

If you are entitled to statutory redundancy pay the calculation is based on:

•how long you have been continuously employed

•your age

•your weekly pay, up to a certain limit (£400 current maximum)

You should check your employment contract to see if your employer offers a more generous redundancy package.

For more information contact Milton Firman on 0161 485 1100 or 07909 900449 or email him at milton@miltonfirman.co.uk

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