Redundancy is when an employer dismisses an employee as part of reducing the workforce.
Redundancies can arise for various reasons including:
- The closure of a business
- Changes within the business leading to a reduction in work
- New technologies making a job unnecessary
- The need for a business to cut costs
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STATUTORY REDUNDANCY PAY
There are several aspects of statutory redundancy pay that need to be considered, and these include:
- If you are made redundant, then as long as you have been working for the company for at least two years, you will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment from your employer
- If your employer has a redundancy scheme in place, they have to honour this as well as the statutory entitlement
As an employee, you are entitled to a forewarning about possible redundancies and your employer must work to criteria for selection of candidates when deciding whom to make redundant.
When deciding whom to make redundant your employer should be objective and fair in their selection of employees. This means that they should not simply choose employees to make redundant without evidence.
If you were to be selected for redundancy based on any of the following criteria, then your case would be classed as an unfair dismissal:
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Religion or belief
- Trade union membership
- Health and safety activities
- Working pattern (e.g. part-time or fixed-term employees)
- Maternity leave, birth or pregnancy
- Paternity leave, parental or dependants leave
- Your membership or non-membership of a trade union
- You are exercising your statutory rights
- Whistleblowing (e.g. making disclosures about your employer’s wrongdoing)
- Taking part in a lawful industrial action lasting 12 weeks or less
- Taking action on health and safety grounds
- Doing jury service
- You are the trustee of a company pension scheme
APPEALING THE DECISION
You can appeal if you feel that you have been unfairly selected. Write to your employer explaining the reasons. If you fail to submit an appeal and later decide to make a claim, this failure may have a downward effect on any award made, in the event of your claim being successful.
You may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.
MAKING A CLAIM FOR UNFAIR DISMISSAL ON GROUNDS OF REDUNDANCY
- Not carried out in a fair manner
- Carried out with inadequate consultation
- Carried out with no consideration of alternative employment
Employers often go wrong when they are selecting people for redundancy. Examples as to how the process can go awry relate to:
- Prejudging the outcome
- Changes to existing roles
- Incorrectly identifying the redundancy pool
- Scoring prior to being placed at risk of redundancy
- Selection criteria can be bias or subjective
- Unsupported objective criteria
- Interviewing for remaining roles
- Suitable alternative roles
To make a claim for unfair redundancy dismissal you:
- Need to have at least two years’ continuous service*
- Need to submit the claim to an Employment Tribunal within 3 months minus one day from the dismissal date subject to the requirements of registration for Early Conciliation with ACAS.
*The service period in which you are able to claim for unfair dismissal increased from one year to two years on 6th April 2012. Any employee commencing employment on or after that date will have to work for their employer for two years continuously before they will have the right to claim.
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