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Unfair Redundancy

It is an unfortunate situation when your employer finds themselves in a position where they are struggling financially and have to make cuts. Even in this difficult time though, there is still a minimum requirement on your employer to ensure that they follow a fair process.

What does my employer have to do?

Your employer needs to consult with you about any redundancies to see whether the staff have any ideas or suggestions as to how redundancies can be avoided. This might be people agreeing to job share, a team agreeing to all reduce their working hours, or people volunteering for redundancy. The length of the consultation will depend on how many people are being made redundant.

Where only some members of a department are to be made redundant, your employer should apply a fair method of selecting the people to be made redundant. This will likely involve applying a set of criteria to those people ‘at risk’ of redundancy and scoring them against the criteria. The unfortunate people who score lowest from this process will be the ones who are selected for redundancy. The criteria used should be as objective as possible so criteria such as attendance levels, performance, qualifications and disciplinary action are often used 

You should be allowed reasonable time off to look for alternative work. This may be to spend time looking for new employment or attending interviews.

What payments am I entitled to if I am made redundant?

As long as you have been there for more than 2 years then you will be entitled to a redundancy payment which is calculated based on your age, your length of service and your gross weekly wage (based on a cap of £475). Your contract of employment may provide for more generous terms upon redundancy and so you should check this.

You should also be entitled to a notice period although this is often combined with the ‘at risk’ period and a payment in lieu of any accrued but untaken holiday pay as well as your normal wages up until your date of dismissal.

What happens if my employer doesn’t carry out a fair procedure or pay me my redundancy payment?

If you are selected for redundancy and you do not agree with your selection, perhaps because you feel you have been scored incorrectly or because the procedure followed was unfair, then you should appeal against your selection.

Once your appeal has been heard, if the decision to make you redundant still stands then you would need to contact ACAS to register a claim.

If you are not paid your redundancy payments then you should write to your employer about this. If your employer is insolvent then it may be that you have to make a claim to the Insolvency Service for your redundancy payment. Alternatively, if they are not insolvent and simply haven’t paid you the money you are entitled to, you will have to register with ACAS and commence early conciliation.

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