Redundancy – Know Your Rights
When you’re going through redundancy it can feel very personal but it should very much be about roles not people. It’s the job role that is being made redundant, not you as a person. Its important that in redundancy situations you know your rights so that you can avoid misunderstandings.
Most employers are very good when it comes to redundancy procedures because the law is clear. It helps to arm yourself with information so you know what to expect. Sometimes a reduction in the workforce also means a breakdown in trust and many of my clients will come to me with a perceived grievance. Sometimes these are accurate and the employer doesn’t know their responsibilities or is tempted to cut corners to save money, however in most cases the employee is feeling very emotional and isn’t armed with the facts. A little bit of exploration of this situation and the emotions involved can help the employee facing redundancy deal with this a little more logically.
A Difficult and Very Emotional Time
It is understandable that times like these emotions run high, but in order to change jobs successfully, a logical approach is needed.
Redundancy selection usually happens when a workforce needs to reduce, due to finances. Redundancies should not be based on your level of experience or because of capability to do the job. Any issues relating to performance should be managed carefully through robust performance management techniques. It should also not be based on protected factors such as age, gender, pregnancy or disability.
Redundancy Selection Methods
Commonly used methods for selecting roles for redundancy are
- Last in, first out
- Based on skills, qualifications or experience
- Self selection or voluntary redundancy
- If you are the only employee in the department
- By closing down the whole department in an organisation
Reapplying for Jobs
For employees in a redundancy situation, it may be necessary to ensure that procedures are fair and one way of doing this is to have new job roles for a pool of employees to apply for if they would like to. This process can be very stressful and can impact on the way employees interact with each other with a huge impact on morale and teamwork.
It can be classed as unfair selection if the decision is based on any of the following reasons:
- marital status
- sexual orientation
- religion or belief
- your membership or non-membership of a trade union
- health and safety activities
- working pattern, eg part-time or fixed-term employees
- maternity leave, birth or pregnancy
- paternity leave, parental or dependants leave
- you’re exercising your statutory rights
- whistleblowing, eg making disclosures about your employer’s wrongdoing
- taking part in lawful industrial action lasting 12 weeks or less
- taking action on health and safety grounds
- doing jury service
- you’re the trustee of a company pension scheme
Employees will be entitled to redundancy pay based on length of service in the company. You can find out how much you might be entitled to by using this redundancy calculator:
An employee would not be entitled to redundancy pay if the employer offers redeployment and it is refused.
Statutory Notice Periods
There are statutory notice periods that an employee must be given.
The statutory redundancy notice periods are:
- at least one week’s notice if employed between one month and 2 years
- one week’s notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years
- 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more
Some employees may be entitled to more than this if it is in the contract of employment but the above is the minimum required by law.
An employee should also receive payment though out the notice period or payment in lieu of notice which means that an employee might not be required to be at work during the notice period but would still be paid for it.
An employee should also be involved in consultation meetings with their employer to explore suitable alternatives to redundancy and to enable the employee to be made fully aware of the reasons for the redundancy. This open and transparent discussion can help the employee come to terms with the situation, however can be very stressful for all concerned.
We Can Help – Contact Cygnet
We can help you to find suitable alternative work with our skills identification, CV, and interview services whilst supporting you emotionally through this difficult time. For further details fill in our contact form, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07881294894