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Have you been made redundant and need some professional advice?

We have significant experience of challenging redundancy cases, both pre- and post-dismissal. If you are made redundant, it is important that you seek advice about your rights sooner rather than later.

Redundancy occurs only if one of the following three circumstances arises:

  • The employer stops carrying on the business in which the employee worked
  • The employer ceases carrying on the business in the place in which the employee worked
  • The business needs fewer people carrying out work of a particular kind

It’s important that you are familiar with these rights to ensure that you are treated fairly and professionally, for example:

  • Your employer should honour your due notice period
  • You should be offered consultation, not least to enable you to understand how and why you have been selected for redundancy
  • You may have the right to move into another role in the business
  • You have the right to a trial period in any additional position that you are offered
  • You are entitled to time off to find a new job
  • You are entitled to redundancy pay

If your employer does not honour any of these rights, then you can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.

Compulsory Redundancy

When an employer needs to make compulsory redundancies, they are required to be fair in their selection of which employees will lose their jobs. After identifying all the employees at risk of redundancy, known as the redundancy pool, an employer will make a decision based on fixed criteria.

This may include consideration of the following:

  • Attendance records,
  • Previous conduct, including any disciplinary history,
  • Standard of work,
  • Skills and experience.

To ensure fairness in this process, an employer may require employees to reapply for their positions.

What are my employer’s responsibilities?

Employers are required to give adequate notice and warning to employees being considered for redundancy, including why they are being considered, and details of the selections process. They must also consider alternatives to redundancy, including offering alternative employment where available.

When an employer has not followed a fair redundancy process, it is known as unfair dismissal. Additionally, they must not use any unfair or discriminatory reasons for selecting employees for redundancy, including:

  • Age,
  • Disability,
  • Gender,
  • Part-Time or Fixed Term Contract,
  • Pregnancy or Maternity,
  • Race,
  • Religion,
  • Sexual Orientation,
  • Trade-Union Membership

If you have been made redundant for an unfair reason, or due to an unfair process, you may be able to claim for unfair dismissal.

I’ve been unfairly dismissed. What are my options?

You have several courses of action if you have been made redundant unfairly. The first of these is to make an appeal in writing to your employer. This should outline your reasons for thinking your redundancy was unfair, and any actions you expect your employer to make. You should consult your contract or staff handbook for advice on doing this, and any relevant time constraints.

If you are not satisfied with your employer’s response, you may choose to bring the case to an employment tribunal. However, before doing this, you must notify ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), who will offer to try and settle the case through a process known as Early Conciliation, but neither you nor your employer is required to agree to this.

If you are not successful in reaching an agreement through Early Conciliation but still think you have been unfairly dismissed, you are entitled to take your employer to an employment tribunal, which will then decide whether your claim is genuine, and if compensation is owed to you.

Next steps

Talk to our expert solicitors and find out how we can help.

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