Redundancy Law - Am I Being Treated Fairly?
< - Back to Article List

Redundancy Law - Am I Being Treated Fairly?


If you’re facing redundancy, your employer must treat you fairly and act in accordance with your contract of employment and the law. That includes making sure you’re consulted, following the right selection process and give you proper notice.

If not, then you could have a claim for unfair dismissal. If you’re unsure, speak to an expert.

Your employer must use a fair and objective way of selecting job roles to make redundant. Redundancy happens when your job is no longer needed. It is not the same thing as being dismissed from your job for other reasons. If you feel you’ve been selected unfairly, say due to age, race, sex etc then you could normally appeal. If you’re still not satisfied you can take legal action.

Minimum Notice Period
By UK law, you’re entitled to a minimum notice period:

  • If you’ve worked for the company for longer than 1 month but less than 2 years you’re entitle to at least 1 weeks notice.
  • Worked for between 2 and 12 years you’re entitled to one weeks notice for each full year you were employed.
  • You will be entitled to 12 weeks notice if your employment is longer than 12 years.

Pay In Lieu of Notice
If your employer doesn’t want you to work your notice period, they can offer you a lump sum instead, called pay in lieu of notice. This is taxed in the same way as your ordinary pay.

Gardening Leave
You may be asked to serve out your redundancy notice away from work, none as ‘Gardening Leave’. Although you’re not actually working, you are still legally employed and will receive normal salary and benefits. Just remember:

  • Your employer could ask you to come back into work if you’re needed.
  • You have to stick to the rules of your contract of employment.
  • You cannot start a job with a new employer.

Consultation
Employers always need to consult with employees before dismissing them on the grounds of redundancy. Your employer must tell you what’s going on and give you a chance to ask questions and raise objections.

Employers need to consider alternatives to redundancy, look at ways to reduce the numbers of redundancies and look at how they can reduce resulting hardship.

The process your employer has to follow will depend on the number of redundancies being planned.

Number of Employees to be made redundant Type of Consultation Timing of Consultation
Less than 20 Your employer needs to consult with you individually only. Within a reasonable time
20-99 Your employer must carry out collective consultation. This means consulting with your union rep if there is one. If there is no union rep, then with your elected employee representative(s).

It’s good practice for them to consult with you all individually too.

If the employees decide not to elect a representative, then consultation will be with individuals only.
30 Days before first dismissal
100+ Your employer must carry out collective consultation. This means consulting with your union rep if there is one. If there is no union rep, then with your elected employee representative(s).

It’s good practice for them to consult with you all individually too.

If the employees decide not to elect a representative, then consultation will be with individuals only.
45 days before first dismissal

Individual Consultation
Your employer should arrange a meeting with you to explain what is happening and why. You have the right to be accompanied by a trade union or an employee representative.

During the meeting you can raise objections and suggest alternatives to redundancy, for example alternative work, shorter days etc. They must consider your objections and alternatives and if they choose to go ahead with redundancy they must confirm this to you in writing.

Most employers will allow you the right to appeal if you’re unhappy with the decision. If they do not have an internal appeals process you can consider going to a tribunal.

Collective Consultation
By UK law, if 20 or more employees are going to be made redundant, the consultation process is more structured.

What Happens After Consultation?
You will receive your redundancy notice in writing. You will be given at least the statutory notice period of 1-12 weeks depending on how long you’ve been in the job.

Your employer must allow you time off to look for work and attend interviews.

If you’ve worked continuously for your employer for at least two years they have to pay you up to 40% of a weeks pay to cover your time off.

For example, if you worked a five-day week you can two days off in total to attend interviews. Your employer will have to pay you for this time. If you take more than this then there is no legal obligation for them to pay the extra. However, some employers are more generous, so it’s worth discussing it with them.





Please note the information provided is based on UK law as of 28th June 2016. This data may be out dated and you should always consult UK law's for current advice. Hashtag CV shall not be held liable for any information detailed on this page. If you require more up to date information, please visit www.gov.uk.

Would you like to get all our latest tips direct to your inbox? Sign up today.