Being made redundant can be a difficult and stressful time, especially if you have had your job for a number of years. This is why it is important to be aware of the legal issues around redundancy, knowing what your rights are in this situation.

Right of appeal

A person being made redundant is not the same as being dismissed. A company should show the process of why people have been chosen, demonstrating that this has been done in a fair and non-discriminatory way. If you feel this has not been the case, then you can appeal and take your case to an employment tribunal.

Right of notice

How much notice you are given upon being made redundant will depend on how long you have been with the company. For example, someone who has been working 12 years for a company is entitled to at least 12 weeks’ notice, or if this is not possible, a lump sum in lieu of said notice.

You may also be asked to serve “gardening leave” – this means you do not have to work your notice but may be called back. However, this also makes clear that your contract has to be adhered to, and you are not allowed to start a new job until the notice period is over.

Right of consultation

During the consultation period, employers should look at alternatives to redundancy; any way the numbers can be reduced or how they can help workers cope with the working environment during the time redundancies are made.

This is the time when you will be able to discuss this with your employer, allowing you to ask any questions or raise any objections about the process.

The level of consultation will depend on the size of the business- if the company has less than 20 employees, then this should be done on an individual basis, any more than that should be done on a collective basis or via a union representative.

If your employer does meet with you individually, then you have the right to ask for a union or employee representative to accompany you.

Job hunting

As part of your redundancy, you should be given at least two days off (paid) in order to look for work. This amount can be the equivalent of 40 per cent of a week’s pay. If you need more time off in order to look for work, the company does not have to pay for this additional time, though if you ask it may be possible to secure this (it depends on the company you work for.)

Some new employers may ask you to join them before serving your notice. It is worth discussing this with your employer as it may be possible to leave and still retain redundancy pay before starting your new job.

We can help

At Larcomes, we help people going through difficult times. We want to ensure our clients know the options available to them. For more information or to discuss this with a legal specialist, please contact us today.