Redundancy

Knowing Your Rights When Being Made Redundant

In these dire economic times, financially troubled companies are implementing numerous mass redundancies among their employees. However loyal or valuable you are to a company, in these troubled times, it seems no one is safe from the possibility of being made redundant. However, I would advise against losing sleep over a matter such as this, which is in a lot of ways out of your hands. What you can control is how you perceive your job and your career, and I believe in having a positive, albeit realistic perspective – that is, work to get the job done, and don’t work to get sacked. I suggest that you show up to work everyday with the intention of doing your best to deliver on your projects, maintain an amicable working relationship with your boss and colleagues, and try to avoid gossip from the office grapevine. If you are fortunate enough, you will be able to keep your job.

In the unfortunate event that you are made redundant, however, do not fret – it is not the end of the world. It is best to see the situation in a positive light – for instance, leaving your old job can give you the opportunity to do what you really want in life and what you are really passionate about. And it isn’t like you are leaving your company empty-handed if you are being made redundant – your employer is obliged to provide you with a certain slew of benefits upon such a situation. Here is an enumeration of some of your rights when being made redundant.

First of all, you must understand that a lot of the rights or benefits of someone who is being made redundant is dependent on the amount of years the person has been working for his employer, and as you probably already guessed, the longer a person has been working in a company, the better his redundancy package will be.

Your Rights When Being Made Redundant – Notice Period

Before an employee is even made redundant, he is already entitled to a certain right that would dictate how much time he will be given before he is made to leave his job and the company he is working for. The length of the notice period given to an employee who is being made redundant is dependent on how long that employee has been working for the company.

Your Rights When Being Made Redundant – Redundancy Payment

An employee who is being made redundant is entitled to a form of redundancy payment which is called statutory redundancy. However, it is only for employees who have a minimum two years of service in their current job. The computation on the amount of one’s redundancy package is also dependent on the actual number of years one has worked with the employer who is now making him redundant.

If you want to get an estimate on how much your redundancy payment would be, you can look for statutory redundancy calculators on the internet that will help you compute for a fairly accurate amount of your redundancy payment package.

An employee who has just been made redundant is also still entitled to any holiday pay that may have yet to be paid for by the employer

The Law on Redundancy

In the UK, the Employment Rights Act Section 139 states that there are a specific number of reasons why an employee can be dismissed from his job with the reason of redundancy. Such reasons include the following:

 
  1. When the employer decides to halt the business or purpose for which the employee was hired for.
  2. When the demand or need for the work the employee is doing has diminished or is decreasing. 

To simplify, there are three questions you must ask should you be made redundant in order to determine if you are indeed being properly dismissed under the reason of redundancy – is the company or business you are working for shutting down or closing? If it isn’t, is the work you are doing becoming less and less needed in the company or business you are working in? Is there more than one person doing the job you are doing, but is the demand for this job diminishing or becoming less and less needed? If the answer to any of these three questions is yes, then you are most likely being validly terminated due to redundancy.

Another Redundancy Option – Suitable Alternative Employment

Instead of providing an employee who is being made redundant his redundancy payments, an employer might instead offer another option, and that is alternative employment. Ideally, this alternative employment option is considered suitable or acceptable if it falls under the following criteria:
 
 
Should you accept an alternative employment option provided by your employer, you are entitled to a four-week trial period with the new job, within which you must decide if you will take on the alternative employment option or revert to accepting your redundancy payment instead. You must note, however, that an unreasonable refusal of the alternative employment option will not entitle you to your redundancy payment, and you will be left with nothing after being made redundant.   Should you complete the four-week trial period at your new job and decide to fully accept the position, you would continue on with your work as if you were not made redundant to begin with.

Filing A Redundancy Claim – Who Do You Turn To?

Redundancy claims can be made at the local employment tribunal, but your application for redundancy must reach the employment tribunal very early, within six months before the date that you are made redundant. Should you file for a complaint on unfair dismissal by your employer, your complaint must reach the tribunal within three months before the date of your termination. In very limited cases, exceptions are made and a person is allowed by the tribunal to file a late complaint if the tribunal finds your reason for the delay valid. 


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