Redundancy – Key things to know

You might be told you’re at risk of redundancy if your employer has one or more jobs they can’t afford or no longer need. Redundancy is a fair reason to dismiss and your employer has a lot of freedom to choose who they make redundant, but there are still rules they have to follow.

Furlough has not changed normal employment law; your employer can still make you redundant even if you are furloughed.  If you are pregnant you have extra protections; it’s discrimination if you are made redundant at least party because your are pregnant or on maternity leave, or because or your age, gender or disability.

You must have two years continuous service to qualify for a statutory redundancy payment.  You can use the calculator on www.gov.uk to find out how much redundancy pay you are entitled to.

If you are made redundant there are statutory minimum notice periods, depending on how long you have worked for your employer

Your employer may make you redundant because the business has closed down; the area of the business where you work closes down or because there is a reduced need for employees to do a particular type of work.  The legal rules surrounding redundancy are complex but in general terms, the following should take place:

Before redundancy you should have been consulted.

You should be given notice.

All holidays you are owed should be paid.

The company should have considered whether there was an alternative to redundancy. Is there another job in the firm you could do?

The process of choosing who is going to be made redundant should be fair. If the company decided to choose you on a discriminatory basis, then your redundancy is unfair, giving you grounds to challenge your redundancy.

If more than 20 staff are to be made redundant, the law says there should be a period of collective consultation between the employer and ‘appropriate’ employee representatives (usually a union).

Voluntary redundancy?

You should think carefully about how voluntary redundancy will affect any money you are entitled to. Ask your employer about the redundancy package. Sometimes employers offer incentives for taking voluntary redundancy, such as extra redundancy pay or not having to work your notice period.

Planning for after redundancy

Before you’re made redundant, you might be entitled to some help finding a new job, like time off for interviews. If you’ve worked for your employer for 2 years at the end of your notice period, you’re entitled to reasonable time off to apply for jobs or training, paid at your normal hourly rate, but only for up to 40% of a week’s work.

Money might be tight for a while so you should also get advice on managing any debts you have.  Our advisers can provide free, confidential advice if you are worried about debts or budgeting – call for an appointment on 01799 618840 or email bureau@uttlesfordcab.cabnet.org.uk.

National Debtline also provides free, independent advice on managing your debts, both online and over the telephone.

The Money Advice Service has useful information to help you decide how to make the most of your redundancy pay.

You may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit.  Turn 2 Us is a useful website to check your benefit entitlement or you can contact one of our trained advisers and ask them to carry out a benefit check for you.

We also have a dedicated Help to Claim service, which offers support for anyone who needs to apply for Universal Credit.  Call us on 01799 618840 or email bureau@uttlesfordcab.cabnet.org.uk

Contact your local Job Centre Plus and ask for their Rapid Response Service – You can use the service during your notice period and for up to 13 weeks after you have been made redundant.

The new Job Help website set up by the Government has information to help you in your job search as well as thousands of jobs from registered employers

If you are thinking about changing careers you may find the national careers service helpful

You can find details of local services which can help you get into the workplace, including adult education opportunities and specialised support for people with mental health issues on www.uttlesfordfrontline.org.uk

Further information about redundancy, your rights and how to plan for the future can be found on the following websites, or you can download our checklist here.

www.gov.uk

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

www.moneysavingexpert.com

www.acas.org.uk