Know your employee rights: redundancy

Everything you need to know about redundancy

Redundancy isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s super important to understand your rights if you ever find yourself in this situation. At Harrison Sands, we’re all about supporting you through every step of your career journey, even the tricky bits like redundancy.

What exactly is redundancy?

First things first, redundancy happens when an employer needs to reduce their workforce. This could be due to various reasons like the company closing down, restructuring, or just needing fewer employees. It’s not about your performance; it’s about the job no longer being needed.

Your rights in a nutshell

So, what are your rights if you’re facing redundancy? Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Consultation: Your employer must talk to you before making any final decisions. This is your chance to understand why it’s happening and to explore any alternatives. If they’re cutting 20 or more jobs within 90 days, they have to consult with employee representatives or a trade union too.

  2. Notice Period: You’re entitled to a notice period based on how long you’ve been with the company:

    • Less than 2 years: At least one week’s notice.
    • 2-12 years: One week’s notice for each year worked.
    • 12+ years: 12 weeks’ notice.

  3. Redundancy Pay: If you’ve been with your employer for at least 2 years, you’re likely entitled to redundancy pay. The amount depends on your age and length of service:

    • Up to 22 years old: Half a week’s pay for each full year of service.
    • 22 to 40 years old: One week’s pay for each full year.
    • 41 and older: One and a half week’s pay for each full year.

  4. Time Off to Find a New Job: If you’ve been with the company for 2 years or more, you’re entitled to a reasonable amount of time off to look for new work or to attend training for a new role.

Fair selection process

Employers can’t just randomly pick who to make redundant. The selection process should be fair and transparent, based on criteria like skills, qualifications, and performance. Discrimination based on age, gender, race, or other protected characteristics is a big no-no.

What if it's unfair?

If you think the redundancy process wasn’t fair or you were selected unfairly, you might have grounds to challenge it. This could involve appealing internally or, if necessary, taking it to an employment tribunal. It’s always a good idea to get advice from a legal professional or a trade union representative if you’re in this boat.

If you need more detailed advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to a legal professional or advisory service like ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

Final thoughts

Redundancy can be a tough pill to swallow, but knowing your rights can give you a bit of control in a tricky situation. Always keep lines of communication open with your employer and don’t hesitate to seek advice if you need it. Remember, it’s all about ensuring you’re treated fairly and with respect during a challenging time.

At Harrison Sands, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Whether you’re looking for advice on redundancy or seeking your next career move, we’ve got your back.

If you’ve got any questions or need more info, reach out. We’re here to help you navigate through the tough stuff.