Redundancy is a form of dismissal. It happens when employers need to reduce their workforce or restructure their business or operation. It is an upsetting and worrying time for all concerned.
If you are being made redundant then you may be eligible for certain rights. These include:
Redundancy pay – you are entitled to this only if you have worked for the employer for more than two years. You can see how the amount is calculated here
A notice period – those made redundant will be entitled to statutory or contractual notice. Contractual notice is often longer than statutory notice and is set out within an employee’s contract of employment. Statutory notice is at least one week’s notice if an individual has been employed between one month and two years. After two complete years of service the employee is entitled to two weeks’ notice and then a further week for each complete year of service, up to a maximum of 12 weeks
Employers must ensure that they undertake a fair redundancy consultation process. Whilst there is no set form that a redundancy consultation process an employer must follow below are the common features of a fair and reasonable process.
- The employer should warn and inform employees of the redundancy process and explain why it is happening and how it may affect the employees.
- If the employer plans to make more than 20 employees redundant from the same location within a 90 day period, a 30 day collective consultation period must take place before any redundancies are made. Where 100 or more employees are to be made redundant the collective consultation period extends to 45 days.
- The employer should consider which employees are at risk of redundancy and establish a selection pool. The narrower the selection pool the greater the risk that the redundancy process is unfair.
- Once the selection pool has been established the employer should produce a fair scoring criteria to be used to determine which employees are to be selected for redundancy. Employers should generally use an objective criteria. Should you be selected due to your age, gender, disability or pregnancy then this may make the dismissal both unfair and discriminatory.
- Employees should be invited to individual consultation meetings in which they are able to discuss the redundancy situation, why they have been selected (including discussion over the results of the selection criteria), and they should be able to put forward suggestions and recommendations.
- Employers are generally required to consider whether there are any suitable alternative vacancies within their organisation that could be offered to avoid the potential redundancy.
- Time off to find a new job – Your employer must give you “reasonable” time off to look for work or retrain when you are under notice of redundancy. This time is paid in full