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Employment law

A legal guide to appealing redundancy

As employment law experts, we’re here to advise you on how to conduct an effective redundancy appeal process and what questions you should be asking your employer during the consultation period.

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Is my redundancy unfair?

Whilst redundancy can be a fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act, a dismissal may still be unfair if a fair process has not been followed or there are other underlying reasons such as discrimination that may play a factor in the selection.

What steps do I need to take before I can appeal my redundancy?

An employer would normally be required to go through a consultation

process. The length of the consultation will differ depending on the number of employees involved and the complexity of the redundancy situation. These can be extremely productive meetings, providing you with clarity behind the decision and what you can expect following your redundancy. It’s also your chance to raise issues with the redundancy and suggest ways of avoiding the redundancy. You may want to consider the following questions in a consultation meeting:

  • What’s the reasoning behind the decision to make redundancies?
  • How will the selection be determined?
  • What’s the selection criteria and how many people fall under this?
  • Why is my role no longer required within the business?
  • Are there any proposed alternative positions available?
  • Did the organisation consider other alternatives to redundancy?
  • What will the redundancy package consist of?
  • What will the notice period be?
  • Has your employer considered other skills you bring to the workplace?
  • Is there outplacement support on offer for those facing redundancy?

It’s important that you voice your concerns within this meeting and that you’re satisfied with the responses given to your questions.

It may be possible to avoid the redundancy process by entering into settlement discussions with your employer. You may want to consider seeking legal advice on how to do this.

Read more about settlement agreements.

How can you appeal your redundancy?

After consultation, if you have been selected for redundancy, you may be offered a formal right of appeal and if you want to challenge your redundancy later on, you are advised to raise such an appeal.

Whilst there’s no automatic or legal right to appeal a redundancy dismissal, many employers allow you to appeal your redundancy selection.

Check if your employer has an appeal process in place, and if not, you may still attempt to write to your employer with your justification as to why you

believe your selection for redundancy is unfair. You should do this as soon as possible and keep a record of any writing submitted to your employer.

In your appeal, clearly outline why you feel the selection or process was unfair with confirmation that you would like your employer to hold an appeal meeting. Upon receiving a response from your employer with details of when the appeal meeting will take place, confirm your attendance and whether you’ll be accompanied by a trade union representative or colleague. Although lawyers can assist you with drafting the appeal they are not able to accompany you.

In preparation for your meeting, several documents could help support your case which you can request from your employer. These include:

  • A clear outline of the redundancy selection process in writing
  • The company’s redundancy procedure
  • Any documents referring to your employment that the company used to come to a decision. For example, attendance records or appraisal notes.

Any queries you have on this evidence should be brought up within the appeal meeting.

What questions should you ask in a redundancy appeal meeting?

Before entering the meeting, prepare any questions you would like to ask to ensure everything is covered and take a copy of your appeal with you to refer to. Your questions may be unique as to why you believe the redundancy is unfair although, some may include common questions such as:

  • Why was I not placed in a selection pool with x?
  • How did you ensure that those at risk of redundancy were scored fairly?
  • Why was I scored x when my performance reviews were positive?
  • Why was I not considered for the alternative role of x?

Following the meeting, your employer will confirm whether they’ve accepted or rejected your appeal. If the appeal doesn’t go ahead or is rejected by your employer and you would like to take further action, speak to an employment law expert as soon as possible to discuss what action you can take (if you have not already done so).

Being notified of redundancy can be an extremely distressing experience. We recommend that you contact a specialist employment lawyer when notified of being placed at risk of redundancy to take advice at an early stage.

Our specialist employment lawyers are committed to ensuring that you’re

receiving the rights and payments you’re entitled to and that you reach the best possible settlement in the circumstances. We’re here to offer expert assistance if you choose to appeal against redundancy. Call us on 0161 830 9632 or contact us and we’ll call you.

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