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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Your rights if made redundant

Your employer has responsibilities to treat you fairly and follow the correct process if they are considering making redundancies. They should think about any alternatives to making you redundant. Get an overview of your rights if you are facing redundancy.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job, caused by your employer needing to reduce the workforce. Reasons could 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

If your employer is making less than 20 employees redundant in one establishment it is an individual consultation.

If your employer is making 20 or more employees redundant in one establishment within a 90 day period it is a collective redundancy.

Collective redundancies generally occur when there is a:

  • business or building closure, meaning your employer no longer needs as many employees
  • reorganisation or reallocation of work

There is a range of support available to help you cope with redundancy.

Your right to consultation

Employers should always consult with you before making you redundant. The consultation should aim to provide you with a way to influence the redundancy process. The consultation will normally involve:

  • speaking to you directly about why you have been selected
  • looking at any alternatives to redundancy

If this doesn't happen, your redundancy may be unfair dismissal.

Collective redundancies

If your employer is thinking about making collective redundancies they have a duty to consult with the potentially affected employees' representatives.

If your employer doesn't consult the representatives, you may be able to make an Employment Tribunal claim for a protective award. This is an award of up to 90 days' pay.

Redundancy selections and notice periods

Your employer should use a fair and objective way of selecting people to make redundant. This means that it should be evidence based rather than your employer just deciding who they want to make redundant.

Normally your job must have disappeared for your employer to make you redundant. However, it can still be a genuine redundancy if someone moves into your job after their job disappears, making you redundant (called bumping). This can be difficult for your employer to justify as fair.

If your employer bases your redundancy selection on an unfair reason your redundancy will automatically be unfair and you may be able to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal.

Redeployment by your employer

If your employer is making you redundant they should try to offer you suitable alternative employment within their organisation or an associated company. Your employer should consider any alternatives to making your redundant.

You may also have the right to time off for job hunting.

Redundancy pay

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

  • how long you have been continuously employed
  • your age
  • your weekly pay, up to a certain limit (£400 current maximum, this will increase to £430 on 1 February 2024)

You should check your employment contract to see if your employer offers a more generous redundancy package.

Help when being made redundant

Acas helpline

08457 47 47 47

If your employer denies your rights, talk to them - if you have an employee representative (eg a trade union official), they may be able to help. If this doesn't work, you may need to make a complaint using your employer's internal grievance procedure.

Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues.

For more information on where to get help with employment issues visit the employment contacts page. If you are a member of a trade union they can also provide you with advice or support.

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