Can My Employer Make Me Redundant?

Balal Qaiser
Employment Law Solicitor

Your employer can make you redundant if there is a need to reduce the workforce or your role is no longer required. For example, if the organisation is closing, changing the number or types of roles required to do a certain job or changing location.

But as an employee, there are certain things you’re eligible to get, such as a fair consultation process, consideration for suitable, alternative employment, a notice period, redundancy pay and the flexibility to have time off to find new work.

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What is the Redundancy Process?

There are certain steps an employer must follow when making employees redundant to make sure they’re doing it in a fair and lawful way.

1. Checking if redundancies are needed

Employers should consider all other options before making employees redundant. For example, changing working hours or redeploying employees into other roles. They should also offer voluntary redundancy before starting compulsory redundancies.

2. Following the correct procedure

Organisations usually have a set redundancy policy in place which must be followed by employers. Employers may also consult with a trade union or employee representative when putting in place their redundancy plans.

3. Selection

When deciding who to make redundant, employers have to follow a fair selection process. This includes looking at the requirements of the business and selecting people for redundancy based on criteria such as their skills, experience, performance, disciplinary records and attendance.

Some reasons for selection are automatically unfair and can be discriminatory if they’re linked to any of the protected characteristics or working hours (e.g. full time or part-time).

4. Consulting staff

All employees should be made aware that redundancies will be taking place and anyone affected should be consulted. In the consultation, employees should be told:

  • What the changes are
  • The reasons behind the redundancies
  • How many employees are being affected
  • How the plan will be carried out
  • If there are any ways in which redundancies can be avoided or the number of redundancies reduced

If 20 or more employees are being made redundant within any 90-day period at a single establishment, employers instead must follow a ‘collective consultation’ process.

5. Working out redundancy pay

If you’ve worked for your employer for at least 2 years, you’re entitled to the minimum statutory amount of redundancy pay. But you could get more depending on your contract or any enhanced Redundancy Pay Schemes that may be operated by your employer.

How much pay you’ll get will depend on your age and how long you’ve worked there for. Your employer should also tell you how and when you will get your redundancy pay and you’ll have to pay tax on any redundancy pay exceeding £30,000.

6. Giving you a notice period

Your employer must give you written notice if they are making you redundant, but the length of your notice will depend on how long you’ve been with the employer.

Your employer may give you a longer notice than is required by law, but as a minimum if you have been employed:

  • Between 1 month and 2 years, you should get at least 1 week’s notice
  • Between 2 and 12 years, you should get 1 week’s notice for each year of employment
  • For 12 years or more, you should get 12 weeks’ notice

These are the statutory notice periods, which means your employer can’t give you any less notice than stated above. Although you may get a longer notice period depending on your contract.

You may be required to work through your notice period or if your contract states ‘payment in lieu of notice’, your employer is entitled to pay you instead of giving you a notice period. They must pay you what you would have earned if you worked the full notice and they may pay extras such a pension contributions if it is written in your contract for them to do so.

Can I Be Made Redundant Without Consultation?

No, you should be properly consulted even if the redundancies in your company don’t affect you. Your manager or the person in charge of the redundancies should set up a private meeting with you.

Even if several people are being made redundant, meetings should be on a one to one basis and by law, they must have at least one meeting with you about your redundancy, whether that is by video call, telephone or in person.

For more information on how your employer should consult you, visit the ACAS website. If you feel you weren’t given a proper consultation, you should get legal advice from an Employment Law Solicitor.

Get Legal Advice

While there’s lots of helpful information on the ACAS website, ACAS can’t give you legal advice. That’s where our expert Employment Law Solicitors come in.

We can give you as much or little support as you need, whether this is just advice where you need it or representing you at an Employment Tribunal.

When you get in touch, we can be ready to discuss your situation right away to find you a solution as quickly as possible.

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