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Redundancy process

The redundancy process in the UK does not need to follow a set process; while there are some rules that employers must follow to ensure redundancy is fair and lawful, there is no single process set out in law or by the government. Every workplace should have a redundancy policy, which you should be able to find in your company handbook. If the organisation you work for does not have a redundancy policy then it will need to follow, at the very least, the statutory rules when it comes to a fair redundancy process.

Not everyone who works in the UK has redundancy rights. You only have redundancy rights if you are legally classed as an employee and you have worked for your employer for two years or more.

If you do qualify for redundancy rights, your employer will have to follow what is known as a fair redundancy process and they will need to make that process clear to you. As mentioned above, there are no set rules on what a fair and clear process is. There is one requirement, however, that your employer should invite you to at least one individual meeting.


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Redundancy rules

When your organisation is making redundancies, they must explain clearly:

  • How they’ll choose people for redundancy
  • How long the decision will take
  • What meetings you can go to and when they will be
  • What the appeals process is if you are chosen for redundancy and you wish to challenge the decision

Under redundancy rules, you will have a chance to meet with your employer, individually, to discuss your redundancy. You can bring someone, such as a union representative or a colleague, into a redundancy meeting. While this is not a statutory right, it is best and common practice. If your employer refuses to let you bring someone into a redundancy meeting, it is unlikely an employment tribunal (if your case goes that far) will look favourably on this.

At the meeting, your employer should discuss why they need to make redundancies, why you are in a redundancy pool, what other opportunities are available within the company, if any, and what happens next. You can also discuss with your employer why you believe that you shouldn’t be chosen for redundancy; if you think the process is unfair, then this is the best time to bring it up.

If you are on holiday, sick leave or maternity leave when the redundancy process starts, your employer must meet with you before a decision is made to make you redundant. If you are on jury duty, you can be selected for redundancy, as long as it is not the reason you have been made redundant.

If you are offered voluntary redundancy by your employer, you still have the same rights as someone who is taking compulsory redundancy. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, it is still classed as a dismissal, so employers must follow the same fair redundancy process. Depending on your situation, you may be offered a financial incentive to take voluntary redundancy.

Who pays redundancy?

When it comes to redundancy payments, always check your contract to find out whether you are entitled to any enhanced redundancy payments. You may get a larger redundancy payment if there is an offer of voluntary redundancy. In cases of voluntary redundancy, you may be asked to sign a settlement agreement, where you waive your rights to bring a claim against your employer for (usually) financial compensation.

In all cases but insolvency, your redundancy payments will be paid be your employer. If you have been made redundant because the business you worked for has gone bust then who actually pays gets a little more complicated. If your company has gone into administration then you can make a claim from the insolvency practitioner; however, this can take time. Depending on the situation, you can apply to the government for your redundancy payment as well as any outstanding wages, holiday pay and notice period pay that you are owed.

If you are wondering who pays statutory redundancy pay, in most cases it will be the employer, unless the organisation you work for has gone bust.

Unfair dismissal

If you believe that you have been made redundant due to an unfair reason or your employer has not followed a fair redundancy process, you may be able to bring an unfair dismissal claim against your employer. To start your claim, speak to one of our experienced redundancy solicitors today on 0161 696 6170 and we can help you determine if you have a valid claim.

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