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Was your redundancy unfair?

View profile for Alexandra Dean
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There are certain criteria that need to be met in order for a redundancy to be considered a fair dismissal. Areas to consider when being made redundant include: redundancy pay, notice period, consultation with your employer and time off to find a new job. If your employer fails to address any of these key areas, you could be in a position to take legal action against them.

Reasonable redundancy procedures

When looking at whether a redundancy procedure was completed fairly, it must be questioned whether the employer offered you all the necessary information. They should have notified you of the possible future circumstances (unemployment), at the earliest stage possible.

Redundancy notice period

If you have been with your employer for between one month and 2 years, you have the rights to at least one week’s notice period. If you have worked at the company for between 2 and 12 years you should receive one week’s notice, on top of an extra week for each year you have worked at the company. If you have worked there for more than 12 years you will be entitled, by law, to a 12-week notice period.

If you think you were not given the appropriate notice period, you could have grounds to take legal action.

Redundancy pay

If you have at least two years' continuous service, you are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment in addition to any contractual redundancy or other benefits that your employer may provide which will be set out within your contract of employment.

Your employer should also pay you through your notice period, although in some circumstances they can pay you in lieu of your notice period instead, depending on your circumstances. A payment in lieu means your employer does not have to give you a notice period, as they will pay you instead. This means you will get all the basic pay you would have received from working your notice period. 

Consultation

A consultation should be carried out by your employer to go over the reasons for the redundancy and if there are any alternative options, such as taking another role within the firm instead. If your employer has failed to do this, or did this too late into the redundancy process, you could have grounds to take legal action.

You also have the right to request the reasons behind your redundancy in letter form. Your employer then has fourteen days in which to supply you with this documentation.

If you are on maternity leave when you are made redundant, you should be provided with documentation automatically, whether you request it or not. It also does not matter how long you have worked at the company for if you are made redundant whilst on maternity leave, this letter should always be sent with reasons to outline your dismissal.

Reasons for redundancy

If your redundancy is related to behaviours you have exhibited in the workplace, your manager must have spoken to you about this previously and warned you of future consequences if the behaviours were to continue. It must also be the case that other employees are not allowed to get away with the same behaviour without dismissal. If other employees have exhibited the same undesirable behaviours in the workplace but have not been dismissed, you may have the grounds to take your employers to court.

Discrimination

Under no circumstances are employers allowed to make you redundant for factors such as your gender, age, pregnancy or any disability you may have. If you think you have been unfairly discriminated against for one of these reasons, you can consider making a claim against your employer.

At Gepp & Sons, our Employment Law Team will be happy to assist you with any aspect of employment law. If you seek advice, please contact our Head of Department, Alexandra Dean, on 01245 228141 or via deana@gepp.co.uk.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.