A redundancy notice can come as a terrible shock, particularly if you're unsure about your prospects of getting another job. You need expert advice at a time like this, which you'll find below and when you talk to us.
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Make sure you get the redundancy advice you need
Being handed a redundancy notice can feel like the end of the world. Yet while it is obviously a stressful experience, receiving such a notice doesn't always have to mean that you'll be made redundant. You may be able to challenge the reasons behind your selection for redundancy if you feel you're being , or perhaps seek alternative employment with the same company.
Even if redundancy is inevitable, if you've been with your employer for at least two years continuously, you're entitled to statutory redundancy pay. Even if you're a relatively new employee, you've rights from day one with respect to discrimination and whistleblowing for example.
Should you need redundancy advice, our expert employment solicitors have given their top tips for handling the threat of redundancy below.
Challenge your redundancy notice if you think it is unfair
This largely depends on whether you have grounds to believe you've been selected unfairly. If the entire workforce is being made redundant, this would seem to be unlikely. However, if you're one of a small number of employees selected for redundancy, you have a right to question the selection criteria.
Employers sometimes use redundancies to weed out the employees they don't want, perhaps due to their age, salary or other valuable benefits such as generous pensions. It may also be the case that you've been selected because of other discriminatory factors, such as your , sex or . If you believe this may be the case, you should seek legal advice immediately.
Make sure you get the notice you're entitled to
The law says that you must be given a proper notice period before being made redundant. These are currently:
- At least one week if you've worked for your employer for between one month and two years
- One week for each year if you've been employed for between two and 12 years
- 12 weeks' notice if you've been employed for 12 years or more
You should also read your employment contract or get an employment solicitor to review it for you. That's because your employment contract may specify more than the statutory minimum, and it isn't allowed to specify less.
Appeal against the decision – or ask for an alternative
Under UK employment law, you have a right to 'consultation' with your employer if you are going to be made redundant. This is when you should get to hear the reasons behind your redundancy. It's also your opportunity to ask about the possibility of alternatives to the redundancy, such as re-deployment or re-training within the firm. Importantly, if your employer hasn't offered you any consultation, this might be the time to talk to an employment solicitor about taking your employer to an Employment Tribunal or settling your claim.
Make sure you get the redundancy pay you're entitled to
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 actually receive depends on your age:
- If you're under 22, you should get half a weeks' pay for each full year of employment
- If you're between 22 and 41, you should get one weeks' pay for each full year of employment
- If you're over 41, you should get 1.5 weeks' pay for each full year of employment
Weekly payments are capped at £525, and the maximum amount of statutory redundancy pay you can get is limited to £15,750. These limits are in respect of your statutory redundancy only. Some employees may be entitled to additional redundancy payments by their employment contract.
Demand time off to search for a new job
If you would have worked for your employer for at least two years by the end of your notice period, the law says that you're entitled to reasonable time off to find work or arrange re-training. You may not be paid your full wages if you take time off in this way, but your employer must pay you at least 40% of your normal week's wages.
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.
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