Collective redundancies – a guide

Redmans is an award-winning firm of specialist employment law solicitors, acting for UK employees and senior executives. We are one of the only law firms in the UK that specialises solely in employment law and we have a very high success rate (usually without the requirement to issue an Employment Tribunal claim).

Please feel free to contact us using our contact form or calling us on 020 3397 3603

What is a collective redundancy and what should I be aware of– our specialist employment lawyers have therefore prepared a brief guide on some questions you may have in these circumstances

Table of contents

  • What is a collective redundancy?
  • What happens in a collective redundancy consultation?
  • What happens if my employer fails to follow the correct collective redundancy procedure?
  • The selection of employee representatives
  • Am I part of a collective redundancy?
  • Fair reasons for redundancy
  • What questions should I ask in a collective redundancy consultation?
  • Redundancy payment calculation

What is a collective redundancy?

A collective redundancy is when an employer is proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days. If there is a collective redundancy, your employer has to hold a group consultation.

The relevant legislation is section 188 of Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act (TULRCA), which implemented the European Collective Redundancies Directive (Directive 98/59).

If there are fewer than 20 proposed redundancies, no set rules are required to be followed.

Where there is a collective redundancy, the proposed dismissal is based on situations whereby an organisation is downsizing or closing rather than on an individual’s performance or conduct.

What happens in a collective redundancy consultation?

Your employer will arrange a meeting with you to explain the issues, the reason(s) for your redundancy and they will also discuss other alternatives to the redundancy. You can ask to be accompanied by employee representative or a trade union.

The consultation should include:

  • reasons for the redundancies
  • the method of selecting employees for redundancy
  • ways to avoid or reduce the redundancies
  • how the redundancies will be carried out
  • redundancy payments

The group consultations should happen at least:

  • 30 days before the dismissal (for 20-99 proposed redundancies)
  • 45 days before the dismissal (for 100 or more proposed redundancies)

What happens if my employer fails to follow the correct collective redundancy procedure?

If your employer fails to follow correct procedure, you may bring a complaint before an employment tribunal within three months. If the tribunal finds the complaint is justified, a protective award may be made. The protective award requires the employer to pay the employees remuneration for a protected period consisting of up to 90 days’ normal gross pay for each affected employee.

The employee can bring a claim for unfair dismissal and/or protective award within 3 months from the effective date of termination.

You do not need to have been employed for two years to qualify for a protective award,

If a fair process is not followed, there is a possibility of the following risks for the employer:

  • Legal claims in the Employment tribunal
  • Compensation to employees for unfair dismissal and/or compensation for financial loss
  • Compensation to employees for failure to collectively consult
  • Reputation risk
  • Negative impact on employee relations with continuing employees.

The election of employee representatives

There is a legal duty to consult elected employee representatives.

The employee representatives can be representatives of a recognised trade union, or directly elected representatives elected by employees for the purpose of the redundancy consultation.

The employer must ensure the election is fair and reasonably practical.

The main purpose of electing employee representatives is to represent your interests during the redundancy consultation.

If the employees fail to elect representatives within the required reasonable period, then each affected employee must be provided with the necessary information on a individual basis.

Both the organisation and elected employee representatives will have meetings regarding the consultation process. The elected employees will then discuss the outcome of the meetings with the other employees.

Am I part of a collective redundancy?

You are part of a collective redundancy if your employer is making 20 or more employees redundant. The collective redundancy consultation rules must be followed in this case.

Fair reasons for redundancy

In employment law, for redundancy to be a fair reason for dismissal, the grounds for redundancy must be reasonably established.

There is a criteria for selecting employees for redundancy. This must be objective and includes; qualifications, skills, performance & attendance, standard of work, disciplinary record and, at times length of service. Although length of service and the ‘last in, first out’ approach for selection may be used, it is only worth using this if it can be justified, as this could lead to indirect discrimination.

Each employee in the redundancy pool is scored against each of the above criteria; and the employees with the lowest scores are selected for redundancy.

Redundancy can arise in several situations:

  • The requirement for the employee has diminished or ceased
  • The job no longer exists and/or work is completed by others
  • There are new systems in the workplace
  • The workplace has closed down
  • The business has relocated
  • The business is transferred to another employer

In order for the redundancy process to be fair, the employer will need to explore other alternatives such as:

  • Reduction in working hours
  • Period of unpaid leave
  • Lay offs
  • Redeploying staff
  • Restricting over time
  • Early retirement

If the reason for your dismissal was not fair or genuine and the correct procedure was not followed, the dismissed employee can bring a claim alleging that the dismissal was unfair or discriminatory.

What questions should I ask in a collective redundancy consultation?

It is important to be prepared and raise any concerns you may have about the redundancy in the consultation. The following are common questions usually raised by affected employees:

  1. Why me and who will do my work?
  2. Who else is at risk?
  3. How has the pool of employees at risk been identified?
  4. Is the process of selection fair?
  5. What are the alternatives, are there any other roles available?
  6. When will my employment end?
  7. How will my redundancy pay be calculated?
  8. Will I be given a reference for future employment?
  9. Do I need to return anything?
  10. How do I say my goodbyes?

Redundancy payment calculation

When an employee is made redundant, they are entitled to receive a notice of termination of their employment. This will be either their contractual notice or statutory notice (approximately a week for each year of employment, subject to maximum of 12 weeks’ notice after 12 years’ employment).

If an employee has at least two years’ service at the date of their dismissal, they are entitled to receive a statutory redundancy payment which is calculated as follows:

Age x Complete years of continuous employment x week’s pay

The correct age factor is calculated as follows:

  • Half a week’s pay for each complete year of employment in which the employee was under the age of 22
  • One week’s pay for each complete year of employment in which the employee was aged between 22-40
  • One and a half weeks’ pay for each complete year of employment in which the employee was over the age of 41.

The length of service is capped at 20 years and the figure used for weekly pay is capped at £544. The maximum amount of statutory redundancy pay is £16,320.

Employees are also entitled to receive pay in respect of any accrued but untaken holiday pay.

Your total redundancy pay, both contractual and statutory, may be tax-free up to a maximum amount of £30,000.

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry


    4.80 Average

    330 Reviews

    Arabella B

    I am so grateful to Caroline Lewis at Redmans Solicitor’s for helping me with my Unfair Dismissal Case. I was seriously impressed how easy Redmans made the whole case, and am very happy with my Settlement. I have recommended your firm to at least 5 people in the last 3 months.. Thank you Caroline and everyone at Redmans. You are Brilliant .

    Posted 1 day ago


    Highly professional and efficient service.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Tanya T

    I had the pleasure of Chris and Sacha’s experience with a work matter. They made me feel at ease with the process and explained everything thoroughly. Would happily recommend Redmans especially Chris and use them if needed I’m the future. Thank you!

    Posted 1 day ago


    I used the services of Redmans solicitors and was a quick outstanding service I engaged them in a settlement agreement after been made redundant extremely professional at all that was done and would definetly use them again

    Posted 1 day ago

    Adrian A

    Spot on support, enough to get the matter at hand sorted. No beating around the bush, no nonsense - got the job done and we all moved on.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Mark Q

    Five Stars I was most impressed by the attention, courtesy, speed and above all, professionalism in dealing with my Settlement Agreement. I would certainly have no problem in recommending this firm to anyone in need of their services.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Ade A

    I was surprisingly impressed by how Redmans Solicitors handle my case. From the moment I call them to the absolute end of my case, they always look after my best interest.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Malcolm P

    they were there when others were not

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    Excellent service all the way through from start to finish. Really great support and guidance from the team, they secured the offer that I wanted. I can't recommend Redmans highly enough and will be sure to use their services again should the need arise.

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 1 month ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 month ago


    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 2 months ago


    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 2 months ago


    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 months ago


    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 2 months ago


    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 2 months ago


    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 2 months ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 3 months ago