Redundancy can be an incredibly stressful time. However, it is important to be aware of what your rights are and the legal issues surrounding redundancy. This will help you when deciding what your next move should be and to help you through this difficult time.
A redundancy should be fair – the process should be objective and the employer should not discriminate (on age, gender and other grounds). You can appeal but if you are still not satisfied then you can take your employer to an employment tribunal.
Legally you need a period of notice before being made redundant (1 week if you have been working for a company for between 1 month to 2 years, 1 week for each year between 2-12 years or 12 weeks for people who have been employed for 12 years or more).
If a company doesn’t want to give notice they can pay a lump sum in lieu of notice. You may also be required to go on “gardening leave” when working your notice – this means you are still legally employed but not expected to work (though you may be called in if required).
In some cases your contract may give you the right to more notice so remember to check to see what you are entitled to.
An employer has to consult employees before making them redundant. They also need to consider alternatives to redundancy and find ways to make the process easier for the employee.
The process depends on the amount of employees – a company with less than 100 employees should do 1 to 1 consultation while larger companies can do group consultations to inform them of the redundancy process.
During a consultation you can have a representative with you. It is during this time you can raise objections and suggest alternatives. The employer should then respond to those objections in writing.
One aspect that should not be neglected is job hunting – the employer should provide reasonable time and resources to help people find work after being made redundant. For example, if you have worked for a company for two years they should pay 40% of a week’s pay to cover time off. If you get offered a job before the redundancy period ends it may be possible to do this without losing redundancy pay – however it is vital to discuss this with a representative so you don’t lose out.
It can’t be emphasised enough – you are not alone. With a legal representative you can have someone there to help you through the process and to ensure that you get the most from the period. We can provide the resources you need to deal with the legal process while at the same time providing support during this difficult time.
If you are concerned about losing your job and want to make sure that you do not miss out please contact us today and we will be happy to get you in touch with our specialist representatives.