Our guest blogger, employment lawyer Philip Landau, sheds light on your rights if you are facing redundancy, together with some do’s and don’ts.
You can't have failed to see the recent headlines that hiring in the City of London has bounced back, and that optimism in recruitment is also spreading to the rest of the UK. But this doesn’t mean redundancies have stopped altogether- far from it. Whatever sector you are working in, restructuring continues and this inevitably leads to redundancies.
The redundancy process is incredibly stressful for employees, but it can be for employers too as they will be under pressure to get the process right. Their failure to do so can lead to challenges by staff and disruption in the workplace.
So if you are facing redundancy, what are your rights and what process does your employer need to follow?
If a redundancy situation exists, your employer must consult all employees who are at risk of redundancy as soon as possible. Failure to consult may lead to a finding of unfair dismissal by a Tribunal. You need to be consulted on why you are being made redundant and whether there are any alternatives. You are able to give feedback here- it is not a one way street, and you should take advantage of it. This is your opportunity to query the rationale for the redundancy and put forward any alternatives.
Where your employer is making 20 or more employees redundant at the same time, they must go down the collective consultation route and liaise with a trade union or employee representative. This does not negate your entitlement also to individual consultation.
The minimum period of consultation if there are between 20-99 employees being made redundant is 30 days before the first dismissal, and this rises to 45 days for more than 100 employees.
If there are other employees carrying out the same role as you, then your employer needs to establish a selection pool, with a number of criteria upon which you will be scored. Such criteria could include your length of service, skills, sickness and performance record. There does need to be an objective and transparent process here. A perverse selection decision by your employer could be open to challenge.
There is a duty by your employer to consider whether there are other roles available which you would be capable of doing. You may not agree that the alternative role is suitable and you can challenge this if necessary. Factors to consider include the pay, status, hours and location of the new position, which should all be as close as possible to the old one. If you unreasonably reject a suitable alternative role, you may put at risk your entitlement to a redundancy payment.
Below are some Do's and Don'ts to consider when you are facing redundancy:
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