Redundancy rights


The redundancy process can be stressful and difficult, so it is important to know your rights as an employee, says Jo Cullen from local solicitors Edwards Duthie Shamash

If you are about to be consulted, or you are in the process of being consulted about redundancy, it is important you know your rights.

You have the right not to be unfairly dismissed. In a redundancy, this means:

You should be warned and consulted about the proposed redundancy.

Your employer must adopt a fair basis on which to select for redundancy. They must identify an appropriate pool from which to select potentially redundant employees and must select against proper criteria.

Your employer must consider suitable alternative employment if appropriate.

The right not to be unfairly dismissed only applies to employees who have been employed continuously for two years or more at the termination date. However, you have rights from day one of employment where your redundancy is due to discrimination due to any of the protected characteristics (sex, pregnancy, marital status or civil partnership, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or religion), victimisation or harassment or for less favourable treatment due to your fixed-term or part-time status. If you are on maternity (or adoption or shared parental) leave, you have an automatic right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancies that may be available.

If your redundancy is confirmed, you will be entitled to your contractual notice subject to statutory minimum notice. Where you have been employed for two years or more, you will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment, calculated according to a formula based on your age, length of service (capped at 20 years) and a week’s pay (subject to a statutory limit, currently £643 as of April 2023). You may also be entitled to a contractual enhanced redundancy payment subject to signing a settlement agreement. A redundancy payment can be paid tax-free (up to £30,000). All other contractual payments such as notice and holiday are subject to normal deductions for tax and national insurance. With two or more years service, you will also have the right to take reasonable paid time off to look for other work or arrange training.

If your employer is insolvent or refuses to pay, you have the right to apply to the National Insurance Fund for payment of your statutory redundancy and some other payments.

We would advise you to take advice early to ensure you are aware of your rights in full and of any time limits to make a claim for unfair dismissal, victimisation or discrimination.

Edwards Duthie Shamash is located at 149 High Street, Wanstead, E11 2RL. For more information, call 020 8514 9000 or visit edwardsduthieshamash.co.uk