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Redundancy due to coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible amount of pressure on businesses in many different sectors across the UK. Despite some government support for eligible businesses and the furlough and job retention support schemes being of help to many, sadly thousands of people have been made redundant so far as a direct result of the pandemic’s impact on their employer. Even when the pandemic has ended, experts predict that the economic recovery may take some time, and it is likely that many more people will be at risk of redundancy once the government support schemes are withdrawn.

Being told that your role is no longer required in the business and you are at risk of being made redundant can be very difficult to deal with. Not only can this create a great deal of anxiety and stress at the best of times, but hearing this news during a pandemic or the aftermath, when so many other people are also out of work, can be very distressing indeed.

Your employer must deal with the redundancy process due to coronavirus in a way that complies with UK employment law and there may be ways to challenge this, if you are not treated fairly or don’t receive everything that you are entitled to.

To find out more about how we can help employees who are experiencing redundancy due to coronavirus, call our expert team on 01616 966 229.


Employee rights for coronavirus redundancy

If you have been selected for redundancy in isolation or along with a section of the workforce, you have a right to ask questions about why you have been selected when others in similar or the same position have not.

Your employer should consult with you to give you the opportunity to find out the reasons for the proposed redundancy and suggest possible alternatives, such as taking up another role within the business, if appropriate. If there is no consultation offered, you might be able to make a legal claim against your employer.

Your employer is not entitled to discriminate on the basis of your age, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital/civil partner status, race, religious beliefs, pregnancy/maternity status or disability. If you are a member of a trade union, this cannot be used as a reason for redundancy, and nor can any history or whistle-blowing or having raised health and safety concerns. These rights are protected from the first day that you work for an employer.

If you have worked for your employer for more than two years and they haven’t discriminated against you for any of the reasons above, but you feel that the redundancy is unfair, you may be able to challenge for unfair dismissal.

Notice periods for redundancy due to coronavirus

If you are to be made redundant, your employer must give you at least the statutory notice period that applies, which is a week’s notice for every full year that you have worked for them, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. They may give more notice than this, but it cannot be less than the statutory minimum period.

Redundancy pay during the COVID-19 pandemic

The redundancy pay that you are entitled to is not affected by the pandemic. You should be eligible for redundancy pay if you have been continuously employed by the same business for at least two years, and the pay you receive will depend on how long you’ve worked there and your age. Find out more about redundancy pay here.

If your employer stops trading, permanently closes the business, and doesn’t have money for your redundancy pay, you can still receive the redundancy payment, along with any accrued holiday pay and notice pay, by making a claim to the Insolvency Service.

Get in touch by calling our team on 01616 966 229 to discuss your situation if you are being made redundant and think that it is not being done in accordance with the law.