If you are facing the threat of redundancy, you should be aware that your employer is obliged to follow a fair and reasonable procedure. Failure to follow the correct procedure could be grounds for a claim of unfair dismissal.
Your employer has to treat you fairly and there has to be a valid reason for making you redundant. This could be that the company needs to save money by reducing staff numbers. It could be because new technology, or new processes, have made your job unnecessary. It could be because the job you were hired for does not exist anymore, or because the business is shutting down or moving to another location.
For the redundancy to be fair the employer has to:
- Have a proper procedure for selecting people for redundancy.
- Run a consultation where all alternatives to redundancy should be seriously considered. If 20 or more people are being made redundant at once, a collective consultation procedure should be used.
- Pay you the correct amount of redundancy pay. How much you get will depend on how long you have worked for the company, how much you are paid and how old you are.
If an employer uses redundancy to cover up another reason for ending your employment, or if the redundancy and consultation procedure is not properly followed, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.
Even if you are quite happy to have the opportunity to take redundancy, it is wise to seek legal advice about the redundancy package you have been offered. If you are asked to sign a settlement agreement (previously called a compromise agreement) you need independent legal advice to make the agreement valid.