What is a redundancy?

A redundancy is where there is: a closure of a particular site or office; a closure of the whole business or where there is a reduced need for employees to do a particular sort of work.

Employment rights

If you are being made redundant, you are entitled to notice of termination of employment but you may also have other rights.

If you have at least two years’ continuous employment, you will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment and you will also have unfair dismissal rights.

If your employer does not have a genuine redundancy situation or if it fails to follow a fair consultation procedure before ending your employment, you are likely to have an unfair dismissal claim.

In larger scale redundancies (where there are 20 or more employees being made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less), your employer must also collectively consult with trade union or employee representatives, as well as with you individually.

In some instances, where selection for redundancy is for a discriminatory reason, you may have a discrimination claim. It is against the law to discriminate because of the following protected characteristics: sex, race, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or marriage and civil partnership. You can bring a claim for discrimination without any period of continuous employment.

Settlement agreements

Sometimes employers will offer Settlement Agreements during a redundancy process.

A Settlement Agreement is an agreement between an employer and an employee in which the employee agrees not to pursue employment claims, usually in return for a financial package from the employer and other terms.

If you are offered a Settlement Agreement, you will be required to take independent legal advice on it. If you come to us, we will check that you are being offered a fair deal.

Caption: Julia Woodhouse, Employment Law Solicitor.

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