Coronavirus is hurting businesses. Many jobs are at risk.

If you are being made redundant, know your rights.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is a type of dismissal from work.

It happens when employers decide to shed staff or cut costs. It can also happen when jobs no longer exist.

It seems certain that many businesses will decide to make people redundant in the weeks and months ahead.

There are two types of redundancy.

  • Involuntary redundancy is when it's forced on you.
  • Voluntary redundancy is when you opt for it.

The law

There are steps businesses must take when laying off staff – and things they must avoid.

For example, employers can't lay people off because of age, gender, race, or pregnancy. This is unfair dismissal.

It's also unfair dismissal if someone is laid off because of their

  • marital status
  • sexual preference
  • disability
  • religion
  • trade union membership
  • part-time hours
  • whistleblowing.

You could choose to go to court if you think you've been unfairly dismissed.

Choosing staff

Employers must conduct a proper process and must be fair when deciding who to lay off.

Fair ways to decide who to lay off include looking at

  • staff length of service (last in, first out)
  • staff skills, qualifications and experience
  • whether there are any volunteers for redundancy
  • staff appraisals and disciplinary records.

The ‘last in, first out' method must not discriminate. For example, young people should not be the only ones losing their jobs.

If a role or department no longer exists, people in that role or department can be made redundant without going through a selection process.

Consultation

If an employer is cutting 20 or more jobs at once, there must be consultation involving a union or employee representative. It must start at least 30 days before anyone's job ends.

For 100 or more jobs, consultation is at least 45 days.

Even if a company is shutting down, there must still be a consultation.

Voluntary redundancy

An employer can ask for volunteers. However, it need not accept them.

Employers must be fair to everyone when asking for volunteers. For example, redundancy should not only be offered to older people.

Pay

When being laid off, you may receive

  • redundancy pay
  • notice period
  • notice pay.

The amount of redundancy pay you will get depends on your age and how long you've worked for a company.

There is a new law to make sure people who have been furloughed receive redundancy pay based on their normal wages – not on their furlough wages. This applies to notice pay and other entitlements, too.

People who've worked for a company for less than two years, or without a contract, are not entitled to redundancy pay.

Everyone else receives at least the minimum redundancy pay required by law (statute):

  • one and half weeks' pay for every full year of employment after age 41
  • one week's pay for every full year of employment from age 22 to 40
  • half a week's pay for every full year of employment up to age 22.

When calculating statutory redundancy pay, the maximum service considered is 20 years, and the highest weekly wage is £538.

The most statutory redundancy pay anyone can receive is £16,140.

Employers can choose to pay more. They can also choose to pay people who've worked for them for less than two years..

Redundancy pay up to £30,000 is not taxable.

Accepting a different job

If your employer offers you another job, think about it carefully.

You may lose your redundancy rights if you turn it down.

Things to consider

  1. Is it like your current job?
  2. What are the terms and conditions?
  3. Does it match your skills and abilities?
  4. What are the pay and benefits?
  5. Are the hours and location what you want?

You can go to an employment tribunal  if the job is unsuitable and you've been told you must take it.

If there's a suitable job that hasn't been offered to you, it could be unfair dismissal .

Talk to your employer or a regulated legal adviser.

Trial periods

You have the right to a four-week trial if you accept another job from your employer.

If you need training, it can be longer.

Tell your boss during the trial period if the job isn't suitable. You will still get your redundancy rights. But if you don't give notice during the trial, you will lose your rights.

Job hunting

If you've worked for your employer for at least two years, you can take paid time off to look for another job or training when facing redundancy. The amount of time you can take off must be reasonable. You should speak to your employer to work out what pay you will receive during this period.

Notice period

Most people get a notice period.

This is the time between officially finding out you're leaving and your last day of work. You are paid during your notice period.

People without a contract or on casual hours may not get a notice period.

Statutory notice periods are

  • at least one week's notice if you have been employed for between one month and two years
  • one week's notice for every full year between two years and 12 years
  • 12 weeks' notice for 12 years or more.

Check your contract. You might be entitled to more.

Your employment can end without notice, but you must still receive any pay you are due.

If a business goes bust

If the business you work for goes bust and can't pay you, you may be able to apply to the government for

  • redundancy pay
  • wages
  • notice pay
  • holiday pay.

The official receiver will explain how it affects you and what you need to do.

Transferred to a new employer?

You won't receive funding from government if you moved to a job with a new employer before your old employer went bust.

If you moved afterwards, you can apply for help.

Reapplying for your job

If your employer wants to reduce staff, you may need to reapply for your job. This could mean competing against colleagues for your job.

If you don't apply, or you don't get the job, you will be made redundant in the usual way.

Appealing

You can appeal if you think you've been treated unfairly. Write to your employer explaining why.

More help

You can get more information and advice from the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice.

Or you could find out more about your rights from a regulated legal adviser.

Good to know

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The information here is independent and just the facts. We're not trying to sell you anything.

We just tell you about things that are good to know to help you make better choices about legal issues and lawyers.

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Your Comments

Mike Bradley says:

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 16:36
Comment
Company I work for has a fair few agency workers with same skill sets or less. Do they go first

Gary Ilett says:

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 20:57
Comment
I am in dispute with my employer over holiday pay in lieu of notice, the dispute is how my daily rate of pay is calculated. My contacted hours are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, they have worked out my day rate based on 366 day (leap year), I believe this to be incorrect, can you advise how this should be calculated.

Many thanks.

Liza says:

Thu, 10/01/2020 - 22:38
Comment
My employer just started consultation process that will end at the beginning of November. I'm still on furlough and 7 months pregnant. I'm planning to take my maternity in December,can I still be redundant ?

Kat says:

Sat, 10/03/2020 - 10:34
Comment
Hello,
I do have a question regarding the severance pay.
I have been employed for 15 years, working part time and on regular basis doing overtime (on the top of my contracted 16h per week).
My employer gives me 2weeks per every year worked but only of my contracted hours.
Are there any legal grounds for my redundancy pay to be based on actual working hours rather then contractual.
I have tried to contact Citizens Advise Beauro but was unsuccessful.
Kind regards,Kat

Sandra Hartles says:

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 08:10
Comment
My 19 year old son was 8 months into an engineering apprenticeship and has been made redundant we have read that an apprentice cannot be made redundant both the traditional and modern apprenticeships. That a company can be taken to court. Is this the case?

Lillian vidal says:

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 11:01
Comment
If your employer makes redundancies, is he in his rights a few months later to look for a new member of staff

patrick mcginty says:

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 20:17
Comment
when an employer ends furlough do i get notice?
And what if i dont get my notice

Wayne Houghton says:

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 19:58
Comment
I think it's unfair on us cleaners I worked for Tc at tescos Express for over 4 half years I got made redundant so wrong and unfair

wendy blackmore says:

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 08:14
Comment
I am being made redundant after 2 and a half years,but have just found out that I temporary Staff member is now doing my job!

Paul Brown says:

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 10:37
Comment
Im off work with depression my job has been made redundant from 13/12/20 were do i stand if i dont return to work before this date my mobile nunber is 07918707443

Luis says:

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 19:36
Comment
hi my girlfriend will be redundancy but I'm not sure about few things in end of her notice what she can get

RAm Ray says:

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 20:58
Comment
Hi
I am getting redundancy on 12th of October.
I have been working 13 years
So my notice period is 12 weeks. My DOB is 01/11/1979 .
01/November I will 41 years
Can I get pay 1.5 weeks pays
I looks forward to hearing from you
Thanks
Ram

Chris copeland says:

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 22:33
Comment
I have recently been made redundant after 2.7 years and have only recd 2 weeks notice pay via the insolvancy service howerver my contracted notice period was 4 weeks which i stipulated on my rp2 claim how many weeks notice pay should i have recd 2 or 4 ??

Mariela Jiménez says:

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 10:33
Comment
I need to find out about what is my rights and if the company doing thing right at the moment I'm losing my job and I'm looking for any alternative.

Mark Phillips says:

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 11:44
Comment
what if your company does not renew or loses contract to another company

Mark says:

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 17:54
Comment
I am being made redundant 31st Oct having been on furlough since April.
I have gained some independent funding for a course to help gain new employment and am awaiting a start date for this.
Firstly if I get a new job could this funding be affected.
Secondly my current employer (until 31st Oct) claims that new employment before 31st Oct will both affect my furlough pay and my redundancy pay out, is this correct ???

Nicholas Bowden says:

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 23:27
Comment
I think that I may have been made redundant because I told my line manager that I was going to complain about the way my working area had been laid out whilst I was on furlough. We had been moved closer together and out working area had been reduced. Also that my line manager had been driving the forklift to move things around and that he hadn’t got a forklift license. All the qualified forklift drivers had been furloughed.

Antony bates says:

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 10:49
Comment
I was made redundant at the end of August however there said it was due to my health but there is no medical proof of this can I claim that I KNOW this is not correct

Antony bates says:

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 10:51
Comment
I was made redundant at the end of August however there said it was due to my health but there is no medical proof of this can I claim that I KNOW this is not correct

Julie bryant says:

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 11:51
Comment
What do I do now I'm redundant. I'm 60 and have disabilities

Julie holt says:

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 16:23
Comment
I took redundancy 4 months ago can I transfer my pension i had with the company to another one?

Steven leckey says:

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 21:14
Comment
If you are made redundant and your employer says your job no longer exists and a couple of weeks later someone is doing your job is this unfair dismissal?

Peterdzydzan says:

Sun, 10/11/2020 - 13:54
Comment
Hi our company are making 29 coach drivers redundant but we are having 3 interviews 1st with the manager 2and with HR and 3rd with the manager and HR they have not notified us what the interview are about but rumours are they are for our jobs and then they decide who is best for the job.
Is that legal to interview us for our own jobs ? Without notification?

Clive Clarke says:

Sun, 10/11/2020 - 16:55
Comment
Was told Commpany ceasing to trade on 30.09.29 and so being made redundant. Prior to the 30 09 20 was offered a job with new company which I took.
As I left prior to 300920 am I still entitled to redundancy payments after 6 1/2 years service

Dave James Roy… says:

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 00:10
Comment
I started a new job 2 weeks before lockdown and was inside new cut off date but because I got paid monthly I was then outside the date . Can I do anything about this , discrimination by the government against monthly pay cause if i was paid weekly I would have been fine ?

Thanks in advance

Dave James Roy… says:

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 00:10
Comment
I started a new job 2 weeks before lockdown and was inside new cut off date but because I got paid monthly I was then outside the date . Can I do anything about this , discrimination by the government against monthly pay cause if i was paid weekly I would have been fine ?

Thanks in advance

Colin james says:

Thu, 10/15/2020 - 10:33
Comment
My furlough payment will end at the end of October I ve not heard anything from my employer with a view of return to work the company is up and trading successfully and my role is being covered by 2 other employees

What steps should my employer take next?

Many thanks

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