I am being made redundant - what are my rights?

Redundancy is commonly used by employers to reduce the number of employees. Typically, it arises if the business closes, if a workplace closes or if there is a reduction in the type of work the employee does. Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal if:-

  1. The reasons for the redundancy meet the legal test under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and
  2. If the employer follows a fair and reasonable redundancy process.

If your employer has a redundancy policy it should follow that policy.

The typical process your employer will follow is to notify all staff of the possibility of redundancies. Then affected employees will go through a process like the one outlined below.

At risk

Your employer will put you at risk of redundancy, normally during a meeting involving all employees. Your employer will explain the risk of redundancy and the reasons why it might be necessary. Following the meeting you will receive confirmation in writing if your role is at risk of redundancy. You should be given the opportunity to ask any questions as they arise.

Consultation

Your employer will then start a period of consultation with you and other affected employees. The purpose of the consultation meetings is for the employer and the employee to discuss the possible redundancies and the reasons for them and for the employee to be able to suggest any alternatives to redundancy, for example job sharing or voluntary redundancies, or taking up a different role within the organisation.

Selection

Once the employer had consulted with all employees at risk it will invite you to another meeting to discuss your provisional selection for redundancy. Your employer should let you know how they will group employees together into selection pools and the criteria under which they will score their employees as part of that selection process. Your employer should seek your input into that process, and you should be able to discuss the scoring criteria and the grouping with them. The scoring criteria should be objective.

You will be given your score and should be given objective evidence to support that score. You should have the opportunity to discuss your score with your employer.

Notice of redundancy

If you are selected for redundancy that should be confirmed to you in writing. The letter confirming your dismissal should set out your notice period, whether you will be expected to work your notice or whether you will be paid in lieu of notice. You are entitled to be paid for any holiday that has accrued but not yet been taken. You are also be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if you have been with your employer for more than two years. You may be entitled to an enhanced redundancy payment if that is your employers’ policy.

Your employer should let you know how you can appeal against your dismissal if you feel you were unfairly selected for redundancy.

Sham redundancy

Sometimes employers use redundancy as an excuse to dismiss employees that they no longer want.

Appeal

You should appeal if you have any concerns about the process your employer followed or whether the redundancy is genuine. You will probably only have 5 or 7 days to appeal so act quickly even if you later give more detail about the reasons why you are appealing.

If you have been made redundant and you feel you were unfairly selected or discriminated against and you would like advice then please contact a member of the Employment Team on employment@rowberrymorris.co.uk or by telephone on 0118 951 6621.