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Redundancy and What to Expect

As furlough has ended many businesses are now in the process of re-evaluating their work force and financial standing. Covid has had an impact both on the employer and employee. If your company has asked you to take redundancy here is what to expect and what you can do to protect yourself.

Your employer must follow certain procedures when making people redundant. They may ask for voluntary redundancies first. If you do put yourself forward, they do not have to make you redundant. You may have special skills or knowledge they need.

The employer must consult with you about the redundancy. They must meet with you at least once in a private meeting either face to face, over the phone or via internet meeting. They must speak to you about why they are planning the redundancy. You have every right to question the employer, you could discuss;

  • ways to avoid or reduce redundancies
  • how people will be selected for redundancy
  • any issues you have with the process
  • time off to look for a new job or training
  • how the organization can restructure or plan for the future

The employer must have a meaningful consultation with you. This means seriously listening to and considering your ideas. They do not have to make the changes you suggest but consider them.

If there are 20 or more individuals which the employer is planning on making redundant in the same location a collective consultation must take place with union representatives or employee representatives.

Your employer may group people together in a selection pool and use agreed criteria to choose those to be made redundant. They may not make selections based on the following;

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Marriage or civil partnership status
  • Pregnancy or Maternity Leave
  • Race
  • Religious Beliefs
  • Role as employee or trade union representative
  • Whistleblowing
  • If you have raised concerns in the past about working time regulations

If your employer does make you redundant, they must notify you of the notice period and whether it is contractual or statutory. You are to be paid during the notice period or given pay in lieu of notice.

It is a good idea to get the terms of the notice period put in writing between you and the employer. Do you have other benefits such a fuel card or company card how will those be addressed? When will you be let go? Will you have to work your notice period? What happens if you find a new job, will they let you start the new job during your notice period? All the questions you have need to be answered in writing.

Your employer will have to pay you redundancy pay if you have been employed with them for two years or more. The pay is determined by your age and length of employment. For 17–21-year old's it is .5 weeks wage per year, for 22-40-year old’s it is 1 week's wage per year of employment. For those 40 and over it is 1.5 weeks wage per year of employment. 20 years of employment is the maximum amount that will be paid out. You can find a redundancy calculator here; Redundancy payments up to £30,000 are tax free.

You should always seek advice when negotiating your redundancy package there are statutory rules in place on what the employer must pay whether it was a voluntary redundancy or not. Citizens Advice is a good starting point or you have a right to request the employer pay up to £500 for legal advice for you.

For any queries about a possible redundancy contact the Dover Deal Citizens Advice.

Dona McLachlan,

Employment Officer