Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Employment law – redundancy: a guide to your rights

Table of contents

  1. What is redundancy?
  2. Being selected for redundancy
  3. Statutory redundancy pay and enhanced redundancy payments
  4. Your notice period
  5. Your consultation period
  6. Redundancy and suitable alternative employment

 1. What is redundancy?

Redundancy is a form of dismissal and is one of the six “potentially fair” reasons that an employer can use to dismiss an employee.

In broad terms, there are three main situations in which an employee may be made redundant:

  1. If the business as a whole is being closed
  2. If the particular workplace in which you work is being closed; and
  3. Where the employer wishes to reduce the size of the workforce

If your employer is potentially seeking to make you redundant then you may be eligible for certain legal rights, including:

  • The right to receive redundancy pay
  • The right to work (or be paid in lieu for) your notice period
  • The right to a reasonable period of consultation regarding your redundancy
  • The right to be considered for any suitable alternative vacancies; and
  • Time off work to try and find a new job

As well as the above rights, you may also have the right to be fairly selected for redundancy and to have a fair redundancy process carried out. You will always have the right not to be made redundant from your job because of your age, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, gender orientation, because you are pregnant or on maternity leave, or because of your religious or philosophical belief. If you are unfairly selected for redundancy or believe that you have been selected for redundancy because of, for example, your age, then you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

2. Being selected for redundancy

Broadly speaking, there are three main redundancy situations:

  1. Where the business as a whole is being closed;
  2. Where the particular workplace where the employee is working is being closed;
  3. Where there is a need to reduce the size of the workforce

An employer has a broad remit to reduce the size of its workforce – this could be, for example, because of a restructuring of the workplace, because there is a need to cut the costs of the business overall, or because a different strategy is being put in place (among other things). There need not necessarily be less work to done – the employer may have just decided to cut costs by reducing staff and making those who remain do more work. However, the employer should be able to justify the reasons for the redundancies it is making and communicate those to the employee.

Ways of selecting for redundancy

Overall, your employer must use a fair and objective means of selecting you for redundancy. Employers commonly use the following means of selecting employees for redundancy (among others):

  • Asking for volunteers (voluntary redundancy or ‘self-selection’)
  • Using the LIFO method (“last in, first out”) where employees with the shortest length of service are selected first
  • Carrying out a full redundancy procedure (ranking employees by how they score over various criteria including skills, aptitude, attitude, qualifications, and experience)

Employers do not have the obligation to carry out a full redundancy process if your job no longer exists, for example if:

  • The business as a whole is closing
  • The particular workplace in which you worked is closing and all employees in that workplace are being made redundant; or
  • You are the only employee who is working in a particular workplace / organisation structure that is being closed

How your employer may select you for redundancy

If your employer is carrying out a full redundancy procedure then the employer should generally carry out the following procedure:

  1. Construct a fair pool of employees who may be selected for redundancy
  2. Choose reasonable selection criteria (provided that these can be objectively measured and are not discriminatory)
  3. Apply the selection criteria chosen fairly and objectively

Although all employers have an obligation to carry out a fair and objective procedure, the lengths to which a Tribunal will expect employer to go in drawing up and applying criteria will depend on the employer’s size and administrative resources.

Unfair selection for redundancy

If your employer fails to follow a fair procedure in dismissing you or fails to make a fair decision to dismiss you then you may be entitled to make a claim for unfair dismissal (should you have the necessary continuous employment to do so).

Further, if you are selected for redundancy for the following reasons then your dismissal may also be unfair (among others):

  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • Your disability
  • Your race
  • Your religion or philosophical belief
  • Your sexual orientation
  • Your gender orientation
  • Membership or non-membership of a trade union
  • Because you have complained about health and safety in the workplace
  • Because you have made a protected disclosure (commonly known as “whistleblowing”)

Appealing your redundancy

If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed then you can appeal your dismissal. If you wish to challenge the decision then you must write to your employer to do so, explaining the reasons why you think your redundancy has been unfair.

You may also be entitled to make a claim for unfair dismissal to an Employment Tribunal.

Voluntary redundancy

If you volunteer for redundancy then your employer still has the discretion whether or not to select you for redundancy.

3. Redundancy pay

Statutory redundancy pay

If you’re an employee and have been working for your current employer continuously for two years or more and have been dismissed for the reason of redundancy then you may be entitled to receive statutory redundancy pay.

How to calculate your statutory redundancy pay

The value of your statutory redundancy pay is calculated by using your age, your gross weekly wage (subject to a cap of £464 per week), and the number of years that you have continuously worked for your employer.

Use our helpful redundancy pay calculator to calculate your statutory redundancy pay

You’ll receive:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year that you have worked when you were under 22
  • 1 week’s pay for each full year you have worked between the ages of 22 and 41
  • 1 and a half week’s pay for each full year you worked when you were 41 or older

Exceptions

You may not be entitled to receive statutory redundancy pay if any of the following apply:

  1. You are not an employee
  2. You haven’t worked for your employer for two years or more continuously
  3. You haven’t been dismissed for redundancy
  4. Your employer decides to not make you redundant and keeps you on
  5. Your employer offers you suitable alternative work which you unreasonably refuse to take

Further, you will not be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you fall into any of the following categories of workers:

  • Merchant seaman, former registered dock workers or share fishermen
  • Crown servants, members of the armed forces or police services
  • Apprentices who are not employees by the end of their training
  • A domestic servant who is a member of the employer’s immediate family

Enhanced redundancy pay

You may be entitled to receive an enhanced redundancy payment from your employer, even if you are not entitled to be paid statutory redundancy pay.

An enhanced redundancy payment is normally a contractual entitlement which you are entitled to receive under the terms of your contract of employment or because your employer has a custom or practice of paying such a payment to employees that it is making redundant. The value of an enhanced redundancy payment will generally be at the discretion of your employer, although you may be able to challenge the amount you are being paid if it isn’t consistent with what your employer normally pays in such circumstances.

Short-term and temporary lay-offs

You can claim statutory redundancy pay if you are otherwise eligible and have been temporarily laid off (without pay or for less than a week’s normal pay) for either:

  • More than 4 weeks in a row; or
  • More than 6 non-consecutive weeks in a 13 week period

You must write to your employer within 4 weeks of your last non-working day in the 4 or 6 week period to inform them that you intend to claim statutory redundancy pay.

Call Redmans today to discuss your employment law matter

Call Redmans on 020 3397 3603 or email us at enquiries@redmans.co.uk to discuss your employment law matter.

Alternatively, you can call Chris Hadrill, the partner responsible for the employment department, on 020 3397 3601 or email him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk.

Call us

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

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    371 Reviews

    Jonathan L

    The service I received was friendly and professional. I appreciated the timely communications and Mel was always available for any questions I had. I'd definitely recommend Redmans and will use them in a heartbeat should the situation arise again.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Glyn B

    Provided a great service, covered all my requirements

    Posted 1 week ago

    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Nigel A

    Chris Hadrill is hugely impressive - the right blend of assured calm and savvy professionalism. I've already recommended him to friends and family.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Matt O

    I was hugely impressed with the ease of being able to work with Redmans Solicitors and their professional approach. Mel was really clear around the process, and costings required and I felt comfortable throughout. I would certainly recommend.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Bryan G

    Great response, and also happy to assist

    Posted 1 week ago

    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jianya

    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago