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Employment for Individuals

Redundancy Solicitors

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
Partner
Homa Wilson
Homa Wilson
Partner
Neil Emery
Partner
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Natalie Wellock
Solicitor

Facing redundancy can be a stressful, uncertain time. It’s important to know your rights and entitlements to fair treatment and financial compensation.

You may be placed at risk of redundancy in circumstances where, for example, the company for whom you work for is closing.

If you’ve been placed at risk, your employer has obligations to consult with you and to try and take steps to avoid making you redundant.

Our dedicated employment experts offer sound advice and support, guiding you through the redundancy process.

What can we advise you on

We can advise you on:

  • How to challenge the selection for redundancy
  • Whether the correct procedure has been followed
  • Whether there’s been a sufficient consultation
  • How to maximise any redundancy pay
  • If you’ve been offered a settlement agreement, we can review the terms and advise you on whether you should accept
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How can I get legal help?

Contact our employment law team as soon as possible

It’s always best to get legal help as soon as you have been placed at risk of redundancy, so that we can assess whether there’s a genuine redundancy situation and whether your employer has followed the correct procedure.

Representative

Our compassionate solicitors can inform you of your rights and fight on your behalf.

Funding options

Our lawyers can discuss the various funding options available to you. For example, we can offer fixed fee meetings to discuss your current circumstances and we also offer competitive hourly rates. We’ll ensure you’re provided with clear information on costs throughout.

"HJA expertly assisted with my redundancy process. I was very satisfied with the information provided. Indeed I was so impressed I would like to know if HJA can also provide independent financial advice for my Pension."

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What outcomes can I expect?

If you’ve been selected unfairly for redundancy then we may be able to assist you in making a claim for loss of earnings and compensation for injury to your feelings. We can help to negotiate a favourable settlement agreement for your exit.

"AT ALL TIMES YOU HAVE ALWAYS GIVEN ME SOUND ADVICE...I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND YOU TO FRIENDS, IF THEY SHOULD EVER NEED AN EMPLOYMENT LAWYER."

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Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?

Highly experienced

With many years of experience of steering clients through difficult redundancy negotiations, we’re skilled at challenging employers who fail to follow the correct procedures. If you feel you’re being treated unfairly, we’re here to help.

Tailored approach

We bring the same highly personalised approach to all cases, from the straightforward to the complex. Our lawyers have in-depth experience of collective redundancies, and those arising through business transfers, mergers or outsourcing.

Knowledgeable

If your redundancy leads to a claim for unfair dismissal; we’re committed to representing your interests all the way. We’ve a proud record of successfully negotiating Employment Tribunals on behalf of our clients. We can also advise on settlement agreements to finalise severance deals.

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Featured cases

Achieved a settlement for a senior manager

He was offered redundancy after the implementation of a TUPE transfer. We advised our client who had been placed through a TUPE consultation related to a transfer of his employment. He’d been informed that he’d been placed at risk and that there were measures to be made which would foresee changes to his terms and conditions of his employment. With our assistance, we were able to steer him through the internal process which resulted in those measures not being implemented. The relationship broke down further.

Outcome: Negotiated an exit package of six figures.

We advised a client who was returning from maternity leave but was informed they were placed at risk of redundancy

We supported them through the internal process and advised on the options available, including challenging the process internally. We assisted her throughout the negotiations and secured an exit package which enabled her to leave with a resolution. 

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Frequently asked questions

What are my legal rights when I am facing redundancy?

Employees who have been employed for two or more years have the right not to be unfairly dismissed. Redundancy is one of five potentially fair reasons for dismissal, but even if there is a genuine redundancy situation, it may still lead to an unfair dismissal if an unfair procedure is followed.

Only the following situations are “redundancy”, so if what is happening is not one of them, your employer probably cannot rely on redundancy as a potentially fair reason for dismissal:

  • Business closure (closure of the business altogether).
  • Workplace closure (closure of one of several sites, or relocation to a new site).
  • Diminished requirements of the business for employees to do work of a particular kind.

Even if an employee has been employed for less than two years, they have the right not to be selected for redundancy on certain prescribed grounds as the dismissal will be automatically unfair.

My right to a fair process

Before you are selected for redundancy, your employer is required to have followed a fair process, otherwise the dismissal is likely to be unfair. You cannot be selected for redundancy because of a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation) and if you are, then this may be considered both an unfair dismissal and unlawful discrimination.

If you have any suspicions that the real reason why you have been selected for redundancy is not what your employer claims, then we would strongly recommend that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible.

Your employer is required to consider who will be selected for redundancy in a fair and objective manner. It is common for employer to group together similar roles which are at risk of redundancy into what is known as a ‘selection pool’. Your employer may then apply criteria to those in the selection pool and score them to determine who will be selected for redundancy. As part of the process, your employer should allow you an opportunity to comment on the criteria that will be used and they should not use criteria that will indirectly discriminate against you, or that cannot be independently assessed.

My right to consultation

If you are employed and will be affected by any redundancies, then as part of a fair procedure you are entitled to a consultation with your employer. If your employer simply announces that you are being made redundant, without any warning or discussion, then it is likely that that dismissal will be unfair.

During the consultation, your employer should explain the situation they are facing, the changes they intend to make, and why they consider they are necessary. They should also discuss any ways in which they could avoid or reduce redundancies and any reasonable alternatives to redundancy.

The consultation period must be genuine and meaningful and your employer must listen to your ideas/proposals. Whilst they do not have to agree with your ideas, they should give thorough consideration to them. If the “consultation” is obviously meaningless, then it may affect the fairness of any subsequent dismissal.

A dismissal is likely to be unfair if, at the time of dismissal, the employer gave no consideration to whether suitable alternative employment existed within its organisation.

What are the types of consultation and relevant time frames?

If your employer is making more than 20 redundancies within a 90 day period, then the collective redundancy rules will apply. If this is the case, then your employer will be required to meet certain legal requirements, including the duty to consult with any recognised trade union representatives, or employee representatives if there is no recognised trade union.

They must also comply with the time limits for collective consultation which are as follows:

If there are 20 to 99 redundancies then the consultation must start at least 30 days before any dismissals take effect;
If there are 100 or more redundancies then the consultation must start at least 45 days before any dismissals take effect.
Your right to a minimum notice period

If you are made redundant, then you are entitled to your notice period. This may be either statutory or contractual and so it is important to check your employment contract to confirm what your contractual entitlement to notice is. Your contractual entitlement may be more generous than your statutory entitlement, but it cannot be less.

The minimum notice that you should receive is the statutory notice period and this will depend on how long you have been employed by your employer and is as follows:

  • If you have been employed for less than 1 month then no statutory notice period applies;
  • If you have been employed for 1 month to 2 years the statuary notice period is 1 week;
  • If you have been employed for 2 to 12 years the statutory notice period is 1 week for each complete year you have been employed;
  • If you have been employed for 12 years or more the statutory notice period is 12 weeks.
  • Your employer should pay you until the end of your notice period, and you are entitled to the same pay you would normally receive.

Your employment contract may allow your employer to make a payment in lieu of your notice period. If your contract does not include such a clause then your employer could ask you whether you would agree to this. This would mean that you stop working straight away and your employer pays you your full pay and any other contractual benefits for your notice period.

Your right to take time off to look for other work

If you have been employed for more than 2 years, then your employer should allow you reasonable time off work during your normal working hours to help you find a new job. This may include time applying for jobs, attending interviews or going on training.

If you take time off to look for a new job then you will be paid at your normal rate but only for up to 40% of a week’s work.

We would recommend that you ask your employer before you take any such time off and try to give the as much notice as possible as well as explain why you need the time off e.g. for a job interview.

Can I leave my job early?

You may decide that you wish to leave your job before the end of your notice period particularly if for example, you are offered a new job with another employer.

If you would like to leave early you should ask your employer whether they will agree to change your termination date. This may well be in their interest as they will not have to pay you for as long.

If your employer will not agree to amend your termination date then you should not proceed to leave early anyway as this may amount to a breach of contract, and you may not receive your redundancy payment as your employer might argue that you resigned instead. In this situation, an alternative could be to ask your new employer whether they will agree to let you start your new job at a later date.

If your current employer will not allow you to leave early and you are worried about losing a new job then we would recommend that you obtain some legal advice.

Can my employer choose to select me for redundancy because I’m due to go on maternity leave?

No, an employer can’t select an employee for redundancy on the basis of pregnancy or maternity leave.

How much will I receive as a redundancy payment?

If you are an employee and you have worked for your employer for more than 2 years then you have the right to a statutory redundancy payment in addition to your notice (either worked, or paid in lieu).

You should also check your employment contract to confirm whether you have any contractual entitlement to enhanced redundancy pay.

How is statutory redundancy pay calculated?

Statutory redundancy pay is calculated on the basis of your age and how long you have worked for your employer.

Depending on your length of service, you will be entitled to:

  • half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22;
  • one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41;
  • one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older
  • The government also have an online calculator – www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay

If you have been placed on ‘furlough leave’ due to the coronavirus pandemic and been earning less than usual as a result, then your redundancy pay will be calculated on what your full normal pay should have been.

If your pay varies each week then your weekly pay will be calculated using the average you earned per week over the 12 weeks before you received your notice of redundancy.

The first £30,000 of redundancy pay (but not pay in lieu of notice) can be paid tax free.

Limits to statutory redundancy pay

Length of service is capped at 20 years and so there is a limit on how much statutory redundancy pay can be paid. This means that, if for example you have worked for your employer for 25 years, you will only be entitled to statutory redundancy pay for 20 of the years that you were employed.

Weekly pay is also subject to a statutory cap which is currently £544 if you were made redundant on or after 6 April 2021.

On this basis, the maximum statutory redundancy payment is £16,320.

Exceptions

You will not be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if your employer offers to keep you employed and/or offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without a good reason.

If any potentially redundant employees are on maternity (or adoption or shared parental) leave, they have an automatic right to be offered any suitable vacancies as a priority.

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