Employees - Your rights during redundancy

20 May 2021
Redundancy typically occurs when a role is no longer needed, so it’s a form of dismissal. Your employer has responsibilities to treat you fairly and follow the correct process if they are considering making redundancies.
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Discover more in today's blog on what redundancy is, your rights if you’ve been made redundant and the help on offer.

If you feel like your redundancy has been treated unfairly, our team of employment law solicitors are here to offer advice.

What is redundancy? 

When a business needs to reduce its workforce, it closes jobs and the people doing those jobs will be made redundant. It’s not the same as being sacked, and if you have been made redundant you have rights to be treated fairly. If you feel like you’ve been selected unfairly, say on the grounds of gender, age or race, or your employer has acted unfairly in other ways - you should be able to appeal. After this process, if you still feel like you have not had a fair or satisfactory outcome - you can take your employer to a tribunal. 

Your rights to consultation 

Your employer must hold a genuine and meaningful consultation with you. This means they must listen to your ideas and try to come to an agreement with you. While they don’t have to agree with the ideas you suggest, they should consider them.

Employers have the responsibility to always consult with you before making you redundant. The consultation will normally involve: 

  • Speaking to you directly about why you have been selected
  • Looking at any alternatives to redundancy, i.e a change of role 
  • Applying dispute resolution procedures when required

By law, they must meet with you at least once. They might need to talk to you more than once to make sure they can respond to your suggestions, requests or any follow-ups from the initial meeting.

Redundancy selections and notice periods 

The notice period is the time between when your employer tells you that you will be made redundant and your last working day. 

In line with the redundancy law, you’re entitled to a minimum notice period of: 

  • 12 weeks’ notice for 12 years or more
  • At least one weeks notice if you have been employed between 1 month and 2 years
  • One week for each year if employed between 2-12 years. 

Lieu of notice

If your employer does not want you to work your notice period, they can offer you a lump sum instead - otherwise known as lieu of notice. The lump sum is taxed in the same way your ordinary pay would be. 

Garden leave 

You might be asked to serve out your redundancy notice period away from work. This is known as ‘garden leave’ and it means that although you’re not actually working, you’re still legally employed and will receive your salary and benefits, however, a few things do change including: 

  • You have to stick to the rules of your contract 
  • You might be called back to work if needed
  • You can’t start a new job with a new employer

Redundancy pay 

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

  • How long you have continuously been employed (the length of service is capped at 20 years)
  • Your age 
  • Your weekly pay (up to a limit of £566) 

You do not have to claim statutory redundancy pay from your employer, they should automatically pay it to you. 

Help when being made redundant 

If you have doubts or concerns about the way your employer has calculated your statutory redundancy pay, or you believe you have had an unfair dismissal - our team is here to help. 

Our Employment Law Solicitors in Colchester cover all aspects of the legal relationship between the employee and employer. Get in touch with Karen Morovic today for all aspects of redundancy