Redundancy notice


Redundancy is one of the more difficult realities of working life. Businesses that fail to make enough money, ones that change the way they work or the products they sell, and ones that merge or move are all candidates to make redundancies.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy happens when the job, not the individual, is surplus to requirements. Like most aspects of business and employment, the process of redundancy is heavily regulated by law.

This includes the process that companies must follow when wishing to make redundancies, and these rules include provisions on the amount of redundancy notice a company must give any employee that is put up for redundancy. The law states that when you are being made redundant you have a legal right to redundancy notice.

Notice period

The rules state that:

  • If you have been employed for more than one complete month but less than two years then you must be given at least one week’s notice
  • If you have been employed for more than two years then you must be given at least one week’s notice for each complete year of employment. The maximum amount of notice that is required to be given is twelve weeks

The law provides for a minimum amount of redundancy notice; however it is possible that an employer may wish to include additional time in their employment contracts. The law does not prevent additional notice being offered, but it is not possible for a company to offer less than the legal minimum.

Collective redundancy

If the number of redundancies is relatively large, a firm will have more statutory obligations placed on it than if the number of redundancies is small. If you are an employee that is being made redundant, or if you are an employer intending to make redundancies, you should contact an employment solicitor who can advise on the best procedure.

A redundancy situation where the employer intends to dismiss 20 or more people in a 90 day period is known as a collective redundancy situation. In a collective redundancy situation, employers must consult with employees over the redundancies.

A collective redundancy of between 20 and 99 redundancies requires a 30 day notice period for consultations before the first dismissals take place. An employer should not give employees notice of termination of employment until this 30 day notice period has expired.

When notifying employees of the consultation period, employers must give employees information that will enable them to take part in the consultation process. Before commencement of the 30 day notice period, employers must tell employees:

  • The reason for the redundancy proposals
  • The types of employees that will be made redundant
  • The selection methods
  • The method of carrying out dismissals

Failure to properly consult with employees, or properly adhere to the 30 day notice period for consultations can leave employers open to claims for unfair dismissal.

The process of redundancy is difficult and stressful, but it is important that the rules are correctly followed. If you are a candidate for redundancy and are unclear on the amount of redundancy notice your employer is legally required to give you then you should contact your local employment law solicitor for independent legal advice.

Feel that you are being unfairly dismissed? Find out more on our page about unfair dismissal.

Are you going through your company’s redundancy process and want to know if your rights are being protected? Caven works with employment law solicitors who specialise in internal matters, meaning they can give advice on the redundancy process and ensure you are not in fact being underhandedly dismissed. Please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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