If you happen to be made redundant you are entitled to ask for evidence which demonstrates that redundancy is in fact the real reason for your dismissal. Redundancy can be a ‘fair’ reason for dismissal but your employer has a duty to ensure that the process is fair and that they utilise the correct procedures.
Solicitors who advise on redundancy for employees
What is redundancy?
An employee is regarded as ‘redundant’ where a dismissal is entirely or in the main part attributable to the following things:
- Movement of the place of business – factors such as distance between the old and new premises and the resulting inconvenience to the employee are used to decide whether the move is sufficient to warrant a redundancy
- Business activity relative to the employee stops – an employer has ceased, or intends to cease, the business for which the employee was employed
- Changes in the business have created surplus labour – brought about by work re-organisation or new labour‑saving devices where fewer workers or different skills are needed
What are the criteria to qualify for a redundancy payment?
An employee let go by reason of redundancy who has been continuously employed for a period of two or more years receives a statutory redundancy payment. The amount is based on weekly gross pay, age and length of service. From February 2013 there is a cap of £450 a week and 20 years’ service. Some employers may offer an enhanced redundancy payment either contractually or on a discretionary basis.
All employees are covered by statutory redundancy provisions; an employee is defined as any individual who has entered into or works under a contract of service. Employees must have a minimum of two years’ continuous employment to claim a redundancy payment.
What is required of employers considering redundancy?
The following list provides just some of the many requirements employers must meet when considering redundancies:
- Follow the correct procedure – if employers fail to adhere to the correct procedures they risk an employment tribunal ruling that a genuine redundancy is unfair dismissal
- Provide advance warning – employees must be given sufficient warning of a redundancy situation and be informed that it may affect them
- Develop a fair selection process – except in instances where only one employee is affected, employers must fairly select a pool of employees who are potentially affected and the type of work those employees do must relate to the reason for the proposed redundancy
- Identify selection criteria – should reflect business priorities, must not be discriminatory, should stand up to objective assessment or measurement, should make commercial sense and be resistant to manipulation
- Ensure proper consultation – establish a meaningful two-way dialogue with those employees chosen for possible redundancy with the aim of finding ways to avoid dismissal if at all possible
- Make a genuine effort to find alternative employment – look for suitable alternative employment within the business and any associated companies
Only after the consultation process is complete should an employer inform the employee that they will be made redundant – they must also notify them of their right to appeal. Failure to do so could make the dismissal unfair on procedural grounds.
How can AFG LAW help me if I am made redundant?
We advise employees desiring to keep their jobs on their rights in a redundancy situation. We have the specialist knowledge and experience to determine whether proper procedure is being followed. We can recognise if your employer has failed to provide adequate consultation, a fair redundancy selection and appropriate provisions for opportunities of suitable alternative work.
If the redundancy has come about by way of a business transfer such as an acquisition, merger or outsourcing then specialist rules may apply which protect your employment. We also advise on compensation available to those facing redundancy, evaluating your individual circumstances to be able to negotiate an advantageous termination package. AFG LAW also provide independent legal advice on compromise agreements which are increasingly used by employers as a means of offering a binding severance deal.
Our specialist employment law team can help you with a full range of legal services.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or call us on 01204 377600.