Employment lawyer Amy Cunningham explains employees’ rights when redundancies are happening
As a specialist employment lawyer, I’m frequently asked by individuals and by companies for guidance on what employees’ rights are in a redundancy situation.
The right not to be unfairly dismissed
Employees with more than two years’ service have the right not to be unfairly dismissed, which means the reason must be one of the prescribed “fair” reasons. Redundancy is one of them.
The employer must follow a fair procedure, including warning and consulting before a final decision has been made – and offering any suitable alternative employment. Employees on maternity leave have priority over any roles.
The right not to be selected for redundancy on certain grounds
The list of grounds is long and includes being part-time, pregnant or on maternity leave, or having been a “whistleblower”.
The right to information and consultation
Where more than 20 employees are being made redundant within a period of 90 days, the employer must consult collectively with representatives of the affected employees.
The right to time off
Employees with more than two years’ service are entitled to time off to look for work or to arrange training.
Payments under statute
They are also entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. This can be calculated online at gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay.
All employees, regardless of length of service, are entitled to their notice period (or a payment in lieu), which must be more than the statutory minimum.
They also receive a payment in lieu of any accrued but untaken holiday and a contractual redundancy payment, if this is a term of their employment.
Any other payments due to them under their contract must also be made.
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