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Your redundancy rights

If you are facing redundancy at work, you may have a certain rights, which your employer must adhere to otherwise your redundancy could be seen as unfair dismissal. If you have grounds for unfair dismissal, you may be able to make a claim against your employer and take them to an employment tribunal.

However, not everyone who works for a company has redundancy rights. Only those classed as employees and have worked for an organisation, continuously, for two years or more, have full redundancy rights. If you are classed as a worker or an agency worker, you are not eligible for redundancy rights.


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Employee redundancy rights

As an employee who has worked for an organisation for more than two years, you will have a certain number of employee redundancy rights, which include:

  • A right to a fair process
  • A right to a minimum notice period – how long your notice period will be, will depend on your length of service and what is stated in your employment contract. Employees that have worked for an organisation for less than two years will have a right to a notice period which is set at at least one week. Unless your contract state a longer period.
  • Your right to a consultation about the redundancy
  • Your right to time off to find a new job
  • Your right to be offered suitable alternative employment (if available) – if your employer does not offer you suitable alternative employment when such positions are available, this may be seen as unfair

When it comes to redundancy pay, the rights you have are a little more complicated. Whether you get any and how much you will get depends on several factors, such as how long you have worked for the company and whether there is suitable alternative employment offered by your employer. If your employer has offered you another role within the company that is suitable, but you refuse it without good reason, you may lose your right to redundancy pay. 

If you have worked for your employer for less than two years, you won’t be eligible for statutory redundancy pay, unless it states in your contract that you are entitled to enhanced redundancy payments before this time.

If you are being made redundant due to your employer becoming insolvent, you will also have a number of rights, which include:

The ‘insolvency practitioner’, or the person who is dealing with the insolvency, must tell you how your job is affected and what you will need to do next. They must also give you a fact sheet, known as a RP1, and a case reference number, called a CN number, so you can apply for the money you are owed.

You can then apply to the government for your redundancy payments, holiday pay, outstanding wages and your notice period pay.

If you are facing redundancy and think your redundancy is unfair then you may be able to make an unfair dismissal claim against your employer. To discuss your case confidentially, call our redundancy solicitors today on 0161 696 6170.  

Employment law: redundancy

Redundancy law sits under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and a statutory definition can be found in section 139, which states:

"For the purposes of this Act an employee who is dismissed shall be taken to be dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to-

(a) the fact that his employer has ceased or intends to cease-

(i) to carry on the business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by him, or

(ii) to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or

(b) the fact that the requirements of that business-

(i) for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or

(ii) for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employer, have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish."

This generally informs the basis of redundancy rules and processes in UK law. While there are certain things an employer must do when they are making redundancies to ensure they are fair, there isn't one set process that all employers must follow. Each employer should have their own redundancy policy.

Unfair dismissal – your rights

If you think you have been selected for redundancy unfairly or your employer has followed an unfair process then you have a right to bring a claim against your employer. However, there are certain steps you have to take:

Step 1 - either speak to your employer informally, write a letter or use your employer’s formal grievance procedure to outline why you think either you have been chosen unfairly or the redundancy process has been unfair.

Step 2 - if internal measures have not resulted in a solution then you’ll need to start early conciliation. This can be done through ACAS, who is an independent and impartial organisation that helps both employers and employees deal with disputes.

Step 3 - if your dispute was not resolved through early conciliation, the last resort is to take your employer to a tribunal. You first must go through early conciliation before you can take your case to a tribunal. 

For expert redundancy advice and legal representation, contact our professional redundancy solicitors today on 0161 696 6170.

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