What are my rights when facing redundancy?

3 min Read Published: 01 Nov 2013

man asleep on a sofaRedundancy happens when there is no longer a need for someone to do their current job. This could be because a business is closing down or there is a requirement for the workforce to be reduced.

There are a number of rights to protect an employee being made redundant which are detailed here:

Overview

If you are being made redundant you might be eligible for the following:

  • redundancy pay
  • notice period
  • consultation with your employer
  • option to move to a different job

Selection process

Your employer must use a fair and objective way of selecting candidates for redundancy and you cannot be selected for any of the following reasons:

  • gender
  • marital status
  • sexual orientation
  • race
  • disability
  • religion or belief
  • age
  • trade union membership
  • maternity leave
  • taking action on health and safety grounds

The most common methods of selection are:

  • volunteers
  • staff appraisal
  • reapplying for your own job
  • last in, first out
  • disciplinary record

You can appeal, if you feel that you have been unfairly selected, by writing to your employer explaining your reasons. You may also be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

Redundancy pay

You will normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you are an employee and have been working for your current employer for 2 years or more.

You will be entitled to:

  • half a week's pay for each full year you were under the age of 22
  • 1 week's pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
  • 1 and half week's pay for each full year you were 41 or older

Redundancy pay under £30,000 is not taxable but it is poosible to minimise any tax payable on sums over this amount. Read our article - How to minimise the tax payable on redundancy payment

You will not be entitled to redundancy pay if your employer offers you suitable alternative employment

Notice period

You must be given a notice period before your employment ends which is -

  • at least 1 weeks notice if employed between 1 month and 2 years
  •  1 weeks notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years
  • 12 weeks notice if employed for 12 years or more

Employee consultation

You are entitled to a consultation with your employer to discuss -

  • why you are being made redundant
  • any alternatives to redundancy

You can make a claim to an employment tribunal if you employer doesn't fulfil their obligations regarding this consultation.

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