Redundancy rights: An introduction


A redundancy occurs when someone’s employment is terminated or suspended due to a lack of business or because their position becomes unnecessary.

Employers are subject to certain requirements with respect to the process used to make redundancies, as well as redundancy pay.

If you have been made redundant, a solicitor can advise you whether your employer has complied with the law and what action you can take if they have not.

The process

Before making redundancies employers must carry out a consultation with the workforce and try to find alternatives (for example pay reductions, or transferring roles). When selecting staff for redundancy, employers must follow a fair, non-discriminatory and transparent process.

If the redundancy is for 20 or more employees the consultation must take place for 30 days, and then the notice period for redundancy can begin. Fewer than 20 and a time period isn't required.

If you are made redundant and your employer has not followed the legal requirements you could obtain damages for unfair dismissal of up to £72,300 (as of 2013).

Of course, many people who have been redundant will feel that they have been treated unfairly. Whether your employer has broken the law is a different matter.

Tribunal or compromise?

A solicitor will bring to bear their knowledge in this respect and, if appropriate, help you take legal action against your former employer through the Employment Tribunal, or to negotiate a settlement with them.

It is common for employers to try to come to an agreement with staff selected for redundancy so that they leave voluntarily. It is strongly advisable to consult a solicitor before signing such an agreement.

A solicitor will tell you whether your employer’s proposal is favourable considering your legal rights, including your right to redundancy pay. The assistance of a solicitor can also be a great asset in helping you negotiate a better settlement with your employer.

If you would like more information on redundancy rights, Contact Law can refer you to recommended specialist solicitors free of charge.

If you would like legal advice on your redundancy payment, call us on 0800 1777 162 or fill in the web-form to the right. We will put you in touch with employment lawyers specialising in redundancy rights advice.

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There is no charge to you for using our service. Our telephone advisors have an excellent knowledge of the legal process and can recommend the best course of action to ensure that you are able to talk quickly to the right legal specialist for your needs.

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If you use our service we will get a specialist solicitor to call you, meaning you get the expert advice you need quickly and easily. The solicitors we work with can assist you with legal issues in any area of law in any part of the country. All Contact Law firms also have a service-level guarantee and many have Law Society accreditations in their area of expertise.

We always stay in contact with clients to get their feedback, ensuring our legal specialists meet the high standards of customer service we expect from our partner firms.

We work with solicitors right across the UK, from small, personal firms to large City firms. Whatever your requirements, we can help you.

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