Knowing Your Redundancy Rights

If you are made redundant by your employer, a due process must be carried out under UK law, to ensure you are treated fairly and that your redundancy is entirely legal. In this guide we will look at some of the key laws that apply to redundancy and other important information such as the length of notice period you should expect, and what pay you are entitled to.

Reasons for Redundancy
There are a number of reasons why your employer may make you redundant. New equipment or technology may have been introduced that now makes your job obsolete, or there may no longer be a need for your job because demand for the company’s products or services has dropped. The company may also be forced to cut costs, or it may be moving the business elsewhere – both common reasons why you may be made redundant.

Consultation Types
If your employer is making less than 20 people redundant, this is termed an ‘individual consultation’, but if they are making more than 20 people redundant, it is called a ‘collection consultation’. Your employers are legally obliged to consult you about your redundancy and tell you why you are losing your job. There should also be the opportunity to discuss any alternatives to redundancy – for example, re-location or a change of role.

Failure on the part of your employer to consult you or your representative could mean you have the right to take them to an employment tribunal, which may result in you being awarded up to 90 day’s pay – known as a protective award.

Your employer should rely on evidence to make their decision as regards who is made redundant, rather than simply choosing who they wish to leave, and who they wish to stay. This reasoning should be fair. Bear in mind that if someone else in the company loses their job and subsequently takes yours (known as bumping), this is still a valid redundancy, although an employer may struggle to justify it as fair.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4102594971/

Notice Periods
If you have been at a company between 1 month and 2 years, they must give you at least 1 weeks’ notice. For those employed between 2 and 12 years, the employer must give a week for every year employed. A 12 week notice period must be given for those who have been at the company for more than 12 years.

Redundancy Pay
How much you receive as redundancy pay will depend on a number of criteria, namely: how long you have been continuously employed at the company, how old you are, and your weekly pay (up to a certain limit, which currently stands at £430).

If you were under 22 for the period of your employment, you will get 0.5 week’s pay for every continuous year of employment. If you were between 22 but under 41, you will get 1 week’s pay for each year served. For those aged 41 and over, they will be entitled to 1.5 week’s pay for each full year of employment.

Be sure you are familiar with UK employment law if you are made redundant to ensure you are treated fairly and get all the notice and pay you are entitled to.

Written by James Sheehan, a passionate blogger with past legal experience

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