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If your employer is considering making your job redundant, you have the right to be consulted before any final decision is made.  Redundancy arises as a result of:

  • closure of a business
  • closure of the employee's workplace
  • a diminishing need for employees to do the available work

It can also arise out of your employer re-structuring or re-organising its business or operations.

The consultation should include ways of avoiding redundancies, reducing the number of redundancies, and mitigating the effects of any redundancy dismissals.

Failure to comply with the consultation requirements for collective redundancies (ie where 20 or more employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days) could lead to a claim for compensation, known as a protective award.

For collective redundancies, consultation should begin in good time and must begin:

  • at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 20 to 99 employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less
  • at least 90 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 100 or more employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less.

If you have been continuously employed for at least 2 years, you will be entitled to a redundancy payment.  However, dismissal due to redundancy can happen at any point and the fairness of the dismissal can be challenged if you have at least one year’s service, or 2 years if your employment started on or after 6 April 2012.  If the redundancy was due to your having asserted a statutory right, for example, requesting flexible working, then no fixed length of service is required.

Your employer may have a formal redundancy policy or procedure which may form part of your terms and conditions of employment.  Some employers pay the statutory minimum redundancy payment (based on your age, weekly wage and length of service), while others may make an enhanced payment (often under the terms of a compromise agreement).

If you are one of a number of people doing the same or similar work, your employer should consider whether a selection pool is necessary. It will then need to carry out a selection process by using objective criteria, consistently applied, in order to select those employees at risk of redundancy.  Examples of criteria often used:

  • attendance record
  • disciplinary record
  • skills or experience
  • standard of work performance
  • aptitude for work

Contact us for more information about redundancy.

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