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In this article Chris Hadrill, the partner in the employment team at Redmans, gives his five top tips for employees on how to deal with redundancy settlement agreements

  1. Challenge your employer on any unfairness in the redundancy process
  2. Keep good notes of the process
  3. Make sure your employer checks whether there are any suitable alternative vacancies
  4. Get clear details of the redundancy package that you are being offered
  5. Get legal advice from a specialist employment solicitor

Challenge your employer on any unfairness in the redundancy process

One of the most important things that you can do in a redundancy process is, if you think that you are being treated unfairly, challenge your employer on the points of unfairness – if you challenge your employer then your employer might decide to reverse its decision on the redundancy process or it might decide to offer you a settlement agreement to compensate you for any points of unfairness.

We recommend that, if you do challenge your employer during the redundancy process, that you do so in writing in order to keep a written record of what happened and when. This will help you to negotiate a settlement at a later date, if necessary, and will also help in any Employment Tribunal claim that you might bring.

Read our article on questions you should ask your employer during the redundancy consultation process

Keep good notes of the process

As above, it’s a good idea to keep as comprehensive a written record as possible of the redundancy process. This would include:

  • Keeping notes of any meetings that you have with your employer regarding the redundancy process
  • Sending emails confirming the contents of any verbal conversations that you have had with your colleagues regarding the redundancy process
  • Keeping copies of emails, text messages etc. sent regarding the redundancy process
  • Keeping copies of any letters received from your employer regarding the redundancy process

Make sure your employer checks whether there are any suitable alternative vacancies

Your employer has a legal obligation to check whether there are any suitable alternative vacancies in the organisation prior to dismissing you and, if there are any suitable alternative vacancies, to offer them to you (or to give you an opportunity to apply for such).

If you are on maternity leave then you have an enhanced right to be placed into any suitable alternative vacant position in the organisation.

If your employer fails to comply with this obligation then any dismissal may be unfair, and it may be a point that you can use to negotiate your redundancy package.

Read more about your rights in a redundancy situation here

Get clear details of the redundancy package that you are being offered

If you are offered an enhanced redundancy package by your employer then it’s important to obtain a clear understanding of the breakdown of what you are being offered. You should therefore ask your employer to put details of what it is offering you in writing and, further, for them to break down exactly what you’re being offered (and which parts of the offer will be tax-free and which will not).

As a guide, you should normally receive the following sums as part of an enhanced redundancy package:

  • Notice pay
  • Holiday pay
  • Salary accrued to the termination date
  • Benefits to the termination date
  • Ex-gratia compensation for the termination of your employment (which can be paid tax-free to you)

The above list is not exhaustive, but it contains the normal types of sums that you can expect to receive if you are made redundant. However, you may also be entitled to other sums (such as commission, bonus, benefits etc.).

Once you have agreed the redundancy package with your employer they will normally provide you with a contract known as a ‘settlement agreement’ – this contract will set out the sums that you can expect to receive and, normally, a clause confirming that you are agreeing to waive any claims that you would otherwise have against your employer.

Get legal advice from a specialist employment solicitor

A specialist employment solicitor will be able to offer you expert advice on the redundancy process and any settlement agreement offered – they will, in particular, be able to advise you on the prospects of success of any claim for unfair dismissal that you may have and the value of your potential claim for unfair dismissal.

You are required, if you are offered a settlement agreement, to take legal advice from an independent legal adviser.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

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    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

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    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.

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    Anonymous

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    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 1 month ago

    Anonymous

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

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

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

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    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 1 month ago

    Anonymous

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

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    James G

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

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

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

    Posted 2 months ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 2 months ago

    ""

    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 2 months ago