If you're going to be made redundant, you should be treated fairly by your employer and there are certain steps they would be expected to follow. You may also be entitled to a redundancy payment, provided you have two years of service with your employer.
What is redundancy?
Redundancy is a form of dismissal from a job. Reasons 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
It can still be a genuine redundancy if someone else's job disappears and they are moved into your job, making you redundant. This is known as 'bumping', but it may be difficult for your employer to justify as fair.
In a redundancy situation, the following things should happen:
- Your employer should select you fairly
- You should be consulted about the redundancy
- You should get any redundancy pay you are due, and be given the correct amount of notice
- Your employer should consider any alternatives to redundancy
If there are fewer than 20 employees being made redundant then your employer must follow the SDDG procedure. If they don't, you could get an uplift of between 10% and 50% on an unfair dismissal award from an Industrial Tribunal.
If there are 20 or more, then the collective consultation procedure applies as well. If an employer uses redundancy to cover up the real reason for ending your employment, or if they do not carry out the redundancy procedure properly, it may amount to unfair dismissal. The rights to redundancy payments and collective consultation are claimed separately from unfair dismissal.
Where to get help
- The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues. You can call the LRA helpline on 028 9032 1442 from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.
- Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can provide free and impartial advice. You can find your local CAB office in the phone book or online.
- If you are a member of a trade union, you can get help, advice and support from them.