Redundancy advice for employees Reading
Facing Redundancy can be a worrying time, throwing your whole life into uncertainty. If you have been notified of a risk of redundancy or have been made redundant, understanding your legal rights can help to ensure you are treated fairly and empower you to take action where you feel you have been unfairly dismissed.
At Rowberrys Solicitors, our Employment Law team is highly experienced in advising and representing employees who are facing redundancy or believe their redundancy was unfair.
Our specialist redundancy solicitors can ensure you understand your employment rights and offer clear, sensible redundancy advice and representation for issues including:
- Your entitlement to statutory redundancy pay
- Enhanced redundancy packages
- Negotiating redundancy settlements
- Reviewing settlement agreements for redundancy offered by your employer
- Appealing against redundancy
- Making an unfair dismissal claim in relation to your redundancy
- Redundancy while pregnant or on maternity leave
- Redundancy selection that is discriminatory
What can I do if I'm being made redundant?
There are number of rights you should be made aware of if you're facing an impending redundancy, and the onus is on your employer to make sure you are treated fairly and receive everything you are due. This ranges from exploring the option of alternative employment where possible, to making sure you receive the full financial package that your years of service have earned you.
It's also important to understand that if you're facing redundancy, you may be able to challenge the fact that you've been selected, if you believe this has happened due to discrimination rather than for some fair and objective reason. If you've been notified that you're about to be made redundant, speak to one of our experienced redundancy solicitors today. We can make sure you understand your rights, as well as help to make sure you receive fair treatment and the financial package you're entitled to.
What is redundancy?
The law relating to redundancy is generally found in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA”) as amended and the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (“TULRCA”).
Redundancy (as defined in section 139 of the ERA) occurs when an employee is dismissed because of:
- the actual or intended closure of the whole business
- the actual or intended closure of the workplace
- a reduction in the workforce.
When is a redundancy an unfair dismissal?
Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal. However, the dismissal itself (and the procedure leading up to it) must still be fair and reasonable in all the circumstances. This means your employer must show that:
- you have been given as much warning as is practicable about redundancy
- you have been consulted with about redundancy
- the selection for redundancy has been made against a set of fair and (wherever possible) objective criteria
- alternative employment has been offered as an alternative to redundancy where possible.
A dismissal for redundancy may be unfair because:
- there was no genuine redundancy situation
- your employer failed to consult (i.e. meaningfully, properly and genuinely)
- you were unfairly selected
- your employer failed to consider and/or offer alternative employment.
A dismissal for redundancy will be automatically unfair if you are selected on certain grounds, including if selected because of pregnancy or childbirth, or because you raised health and safety concerns.
If your employer cannot show that the reason or principal reason for dismissal was wholly, or mainly, attributable to a redundancy situation, it will be unfair.
Has Proper Redundancy Consultation Taken Place?
A redundancy consultation process is supposed to be a meaningful and fluid discussion between employer and employee to discuss ways of avoiding possible redundancies and considering possible alternatives. Frequently however the process is a sham, with a pre-determined outcome (i.e. your dismissal). Where the message from your employer is that you will be dismissed in any event, this can be used to your advantage in negotiations.
If 20 or more individuals are being made redundant in your place of work, you've the right to be consulted with as a group, with employee elected representatives attending the consultation meetings. If your employer fails to consult with you in this manner, you may be entitled to compensation of up to 90 days' pay.
How much redundancy pay should I get?
Under UK employment law, you're entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you've been with your employer for at least two years.
How much you'll receive depends on your age:
- Half a weeks' pay for each full year of employment in which you were under the age of 22
- One weeks' pay for each full year of employment between the ages of 22 and 40 inclusive
- 1.5 weeks' pay for each full year of employment in which you were not below the age of 41
If your total redundancy package comes to less than £30,000, the whole amount is tax-free.
Settlement agreements are a common way of resolving employment disputes, including redundancy. They normally involve your employer agreeing to make a one-off payment to you in exchange for your agreement not to pursue an employment claim and are a way of avoiding the stress, uncertainty and cost of pursuing a claim.
Your employer may pre-emptively offer a settlement agreement when dismissing possibly because they have not or do not want to follow the proper procedure. You must take independent legal advice before signing a settlement agreement for the agreement to be legally binding.
Need advice on redundancy procedures? Contact our employment solicitors in Crowthorne Berkshire today
It's very important that you get all the money you're owed if you're being made redundant, as it may have to last for a while until you find another job. If you're being made redundant, make sure you're getting all you're entitled to at law. To speak to a solicitor specialising in redundancy advice for employees or any other area of employment law, please contact our Rebecca Ellerbeck at Rowberrys on 01344 959166.
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