Employment Law – Redundancies from an Employee’s Point of View
Despite a 21% fall in redundancies in the UK over the last quarter, employees are still concerned about the prospect of being made redundant. According to data from Glassdoor, talk of redundancies has increased by 185% from March to June 2022 in employee reviews.
It is no surprise there are concerns about redundancies as the rise in inflation and the cost-of-living crisis could force businesses to consider redundancies again in the near future. Shell has recently announced that they plan to cut 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022 following a collapse in demand for oil with 1,500 of them being voluntary redundancies.
If you are an employee at risk of redundancy, regardless of how long you have worked at the company, you should consider whether the redundancy is fair as follows:
- It is discrimination if you are made redundant due to a protected characteristic such as age, gender or if you are pregnant.
- Check if you have been selected for redundancy for a fair reason. – There are automatically unfair reasons for redundancy which include for example if you have been a whistle-blower, you work part-time or have been on jury service.
- Make sure your employer holds a group consultation if they are making at least 20 people redundant.
If you have worked for your employer for at least 2 years, there are further issues to consider when assessing whether your redundancy is fair: –
- Check that your employer has a real business reason to make you redundant. – This includes where there is a reduced requirement for your role, your workplace is closing, or your employer is going out of business. It may not be a genuine redundancy if your employer has taken on people doing similar work or if there are other circumstances surrounding the reason for terminating your employment.
- Make sure your employer follows a fair process – the correct procedure to be followed will depend on how many people are being made redundant and whether individual or collective consultation is required. You should be invited to at least one individual meeting with your employer to discuss redundancy. You should also check your employer’s redundancy procedure (if they have one) and that they are following it correctly.
- An alternative job in the business – Your employer must try to find you another position within the business if you are on maternity leave or have been working for them for at least 2 years at the time your employment terminates. You should have the opportunity to apply for an alternative role if one is available.
Where a fair redundancy process has been followed, upon termination you should be entitled to receive the following: –
- Your salary and benefits up to the Termination Date;
- Payment in lieu of accrued but untaken holiday;
- Notice or a payment in lieu of notice;
- Statutory Redundancy pay.
If it is not a genuine redundancy situation or if the employer fails to follow a fair process, you may have grounds to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.
If you are an employee going through the redundancy process, we can offer you expert legal advice at Consilia Legal. For further information, please feel free to contact one of our experienced employment solicitors on 0113 322 9222 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please note – this guidance is not intended to be taken as legal advice – for individual situations you will need to take specific legal advice.
- The information in this guide is correct as of August 2022 and should be read alongside the government’s specific guidance.