For some, redundancy is a blessing, for others, a curse. There is no single set process when it comes to redundancy. The only hard and fast rule is that the process has to be clear and fair. Our redundancy solicitors in Brighton and Hove will help if you are facing redundancy and want to understand your full employment rights.
What Is Redundancy?
Redundancy is the process by which an employer asks an employee to terminate their contract of employment, but is distinct from being fired, as they do not have to have done anything wrong to be made redundant.
Redundancy typically happens for one of three reasons:
- The employer’s business is closing entirely
- The place an employee works is to be relocated
- The specific work than an employee carries out is no longer required
The redundancy process should be outlined in the employee’s contract or staff handbook. If it isn’t, the employer has a legal obligation to ensure that the employee understands the process.
When making a redundancy, businesses must consult with employees over the reasons why, there must be a valid reason for redundancy, and the process must be carried out clearly and fairly, otherwise you as an employee could have a claim for unfair dismissal. Our redundancy solicitors can help if you are facing redundancy.
What Rights Do I Have If Made Redundant?
This depends on how long you have been employed by the company. To gain full employment rights as an employee, you typically need to have been working for a business for more than 2 years.
These rights include (though are not limited to): redundancy pay (where you have been employed for two years or longer); a notice period; time off to look for a new job; the option to move into ‘suitable alternative employment’, if available; or a consultation with your employer.
If multiple employees are facing redundancy, businesses must make sure a clear selection process and the selection criteria are communicated. This is to ensure the process is clear and fair.
Consultation periods apply when an employer has to make 20 or more employees redundant. The consultation can be held with the employees themselves or with recognised trade union representatives, for a minimum of 30 days. Where 100 or more employees face redundancy, the consultation period has to be 45 days long as a minimum.
Whether you are a business or an employee faced with redundancy, our redundancy solicitors will advise on your situation.
Why Use a Redundancy Solicitor?
As an employer you must conduct a meaningful consultation and redundancy should be the last resort. This must be carried out in the correct way and you must follow all the legal guidelines, which will ensure the process is both clear and fair. Failure to do so could have legal consequences for both the employer and the company as a whole.
The employer should make efforts to identify any suitable alternative roles for all employees at risk of redundancy. It is worth noting that if an employee refuses a suitable alternative role, this may negate any entitlement to a redundancy payment.
If there are any doubts as to what this process should entail you need to speak to an redundancy solicitor, who will be an expert in all matters relating to redundancy and employment law.
How Much Redundancy Pay Am I Entitled To?
As of April 2020, statutory redundancy pay stands at:
- 1.5 weeks gross pay for each complete year of continuous employment in which the employee was aged 41 or over
- 1 week gross pay for each complete year of continuous employment in which the employee was aged 22 or over
- 0.5 weeks gross pay for each complete year of continuous employment for each earlier year
In England and Wales, the current maximum that can be paid out (correct as of April 2020) is £15,750, regardless of length of service and salary level.
While employers cannot offer below statutory redundancy pay, many businesses offer more generous redundancy policies as part of their employment terms and conditions. Our redundancy solicitors can review your employment contract to determine if this applies to you.
What Constitutes Unfair Redundancy?
If any of the following apply, you may have a case for unfair redundancy:
- Your employer does not meet with you to discuss redundancy, or only meets with you and not your colleagues to tell you they are making you redundant (if you have worked for your current employer for two years or more)
- You have not been given enough information about the process
- The process was not followed as it should have been
- Your redundancy selection is the result of some form of discrimination (such as maternity, age, gender or race)
In all cases, if you believe your redundancy is unfair, you must have proof. Our redundancy solicitors can advise further on ways to prove an unfair redundancy.
Can You Appeal Redundancy?
A redundancy appeal may be possible if you think you were unfairly selected or your employer did not follow a fair process.
There is no set process to appeal for redundancy – each organisation will have its own appeals process or, in the absence of a process, you can write a redundancy appeal letter.
Your employer can then accept or reject your appeal. It’s worth noting that appealing your redundancy does not affect any of your rights.
If you still do not get the result you are seeking, it’s possible to take your claim to an employment tribunal. If this is the path you choose to take you need a redundancy solicitor to give you the best possible chance of success.
If you want to book an initial consultation with one of Britton and Time’s redundancy solicitors, contact us or call us on 01273 726951.