Your Redundancy Rights
Being made redundant is extremely stressful but you have a significant number of legal rights - and the power to take legal action if your rights are breached.
By law, your employer must give you formal notice if they are making you redundant. The minimum legal periods are:
- at least one week if you have been employed between one month and two years
- one week for every year you have been employed for 2 or more years (maximum 12 weeks’ notice)
It is also very important to check your employment contract - you may be entitled to a longer notice period than the statutory legal minimum.
Failure to provide sufficient notice means you would be entitled to redundancy pay. There should be a Payment In Lieu of Notice (PILON) clause in your contract - if not, you are entitled to full basic pay plus any compensation for any benefit you should have received during the notice period.
You are entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you have been employed for two years or more. The amount you receive will depend on both your age and the number of full years you have worked with your employer:
You should receive:
- half a week’s pay for each full year you were aged up to and including 21 years
- 1 week’s pay for each full year you were aged 22 to 40
- 1.5 weeks’ pay for each full year you were aged 41 or older.
There is a series of maximum limits which will cap the amount of redundancy pay you will receive:
- Maximum weekly pay - £525
- Maximum length of service - 20 years
- Maximum statutory redundancy pay - £15,750.
You may be able to claim more in compensation at an employment tribunal by proving that you were unfairly selected for redundancy or if your employer has dismissed you for redundancy when a redundancy situation does not exist.
In either case, this would be an unfair dismissal which could mean that you are entitled to compensation beyond the amount of any redundancy payment. Alternatively you may be able to get your job back (re-instatement).
Unfair Dismissal - Were You Unfairly Targeted For Redundancy?
Unfair dismissal rules apply to those employed for two or more continuous years.
If you were made redundant because of your gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, disability or religion then you may be a victim of discrimination and your dismissal may be unfair.
Age is also an important consideration. Were you chosen because you are older? Employers who offer voluntary redundancy to older employees as ‘early retirement’ could be guilty of discriminating against younger employees.
‘Last in first out’ is often cited as a way of selection but this can be a discriminatory method of selection - particularly in relation to younger employees. Think about it - were you chosen simply because it’s cheaper to make younger employees redundant? If so, this would be unfair dismissal.
It is also unfair to dismiss employees because they are pregnant, on maternity/paternity leave, on shared parental leave or dependents’ leave.
It may also be judged that you were unfairly targeted for redundancy if you took part in a strike or other form of lawful industrial action (lasting 12 weeks of less). Or because you’re a whistleblower - or took action on grounds of health and safety.
Worried that you may have been wrongly targeted for redundancy and unfairly dismissed? Get expert help from our employment law solicitors.
Hurry - there is a time limit! Under the law, you have three months less a day (from the Effective Date of Termination) to bring an unfair dismissal claim.
Employees who are being made redundant are entitled to a consultation with their employer.
They are entitled to know why they are being made redundant and what the alternatives are.
If you are being made redundant without proper consultation - or if the consultation is not thorough enough - then you can take your case to an employment tribunal. Contact your nearest Coles Miller office to find out more about your rights.
If more than 20 employees are being made redundant, your employer must consult with a representative - either from a trade union or someone elected by the employees.
This must happen at least 30 days before dismissals take place - or at least 45 days if 100 or more employees are involved.
Get Expert Legal Advice Before You Make Any Decisions
You could lose your statutory redundancy pay if you act hastily, such as turning down a reasonable offer of alterative work or carrying out an act of misconduct.
Before making any decisions, it is important to get legal advice. Remember - your employer will almost certainly be supported by a legal team.
Get help now from Coles Miller’s specialist employment law team. Phone 01202 355695 for a free initial chat or email us.