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Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job and it may be fair provided it is carried out by your employer for a justifiable reason which could include the following:

  •  There is no longer a need for employees to carry out work of a particular kind or workload has reduced for example due to the introduction of new technology or a new system has made your job unnecessary
  • The business is closing down
  • There is a change in the location of your business
  • The job you were hired for no longer exists
  • There is a need to reduce costs which ultimately means staff must be reduced

However, even if the redundancy is for a fair reason, it may result in an unfair dismissal if the correct procedure is not followed. It is therefore vital that the redundancy process is conducted in a proper and fair manner.  The employer must always consult you individually in respect of the proposed redundancy, the selection criteria applied and why you specifically have been selected. It is also important that the employer offers suitable alternative employment positions that may be available within the company.  (Where the employer is dismissing 20 or more employees, the consultation process is longer and more complex. Please contact us for more details in respect of this.)

The employer must also apply fair and justifiable selection criteria when selecting individuals for redundancy.  The criteria could for example be based on length of service, skills, qualifications or disciplinary proceedings.  Once the criteria are selected, they must be applied without prejudice to all employees considered for redundancy.

If the employer fails to follow a correct redundancy procedure or fails to apply fair selection criteria, then the redundancy may be considered as unfair dismissal for which a claim can be made in the employment tribunal. You may also have a claim for discrimination, if the selection criteria applied is based on a characteristic (age, sex, race, religion, disability) protected under legislation. It is also essential that the employee is provided with as much notice as is reasonably possible of the risk of proposed redundancy.

Statutory/Contractual Redundancy Payment

If you have been made redundant after having worked for your employer for at least 2 years continuously, then redundancy law imposes a requirement on your employer which entitles you to a statutory redundancy payment.  This is calculated with reference to your age, length of service and weekly earning (capped). However your employment contract may detail an enhanced contractual redundancy payment above and beyond the statutory minimum which would then entitle you to redundancy compensation that is detailed therein.

If you believe that your redundancy rights are being or have been infringed or have any questions relating to redundancy, please contact our specialist solicitors on 0800 644 1544 for  a free consultation. Our solicitors have a vast amount of experience in employment law, they can advise you of the process and ensure that any settlement you receive is fair and is the best outcome possible.

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