Redundanct Rights

Your rights when being made redundant

Recession is a time for downsizing, right sizing, de-layering and all these lead to redundancies. Even in a boom, redundancies can accompany a merger or take-over. In recent times, we can see an alarming trend of mass redundancies. Not even the best employees may avoid this peril. But there are ways by which this nightmare can be reduced as much as possible. Always deliver your best, be friendly with everybody, especially your superiors and avoid unnecessary gossip at all times.

Redundancy is different from being fired (dismissed) since:

Dismissal can either be fair or unfair. It's fair if you have earned it (by wrongful or prohibited activities like stealing for example) or unfair (sacked for a racist or sexist reason. In any case, there is a fair a lawful procedure to follow.

Redundancy is different. (Strictly speaking, redundancy is a fair reason for dismissal, but as the legal requirements are different to other forms of dismissal it is helpful to distinguish between the two.) Redundancy happens when an employer reduces their workforce.

In this article we'll look at the fair method of redundancy and the payment and your rights when being made redundant.

Being redundant isn't at all the worst thing that can possibly happen, so no need to have sleepless nights over it. It may even be a door opener to what you always wanted to do. And you aren't leaving without anything at all when being made redundant.

Following is a list of possible reasons for redundancy according to the UK Employment Rights Act Section 139


Sometimes bumping (making someone else's job redundant and moving them to your place) also occurs, but employers may have a harder time trying to prove its fairness.

If more than 20 of your co-workers are being made redundant at the same time i.e. within a period of 90 days, then it is an example of collective redundancies.

Amongst other of your rights when being made redundant are that before taking such a step, the employer must contact and inform any representative those employees might have. It could even be a trade union official or any representative that the employee chooses to have him represented, like a lawyer for instance. If your employer fails to consult the representatives then a claim may be made to an Employment Tribunal for a protective award (a monetary award of up to 90 days pay).

In case the number of employees being made redundant is under 20, the following things must be kept in mind:

Failing to keep these in mind may lead to a lot of legal difficulties for the employer, see below for a line that may help

Where to get help

Acas helpline

08457 47 47 47
Open Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 6.00 pm

If you are being denied your rights, talk to your employer first of all. If you have an employee representative (eg a trade union official), they also may be able to help. If this doesn't work, you may need to make a complaint using your employer's internal grievance procedure.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues. You can call the Acas helpline on 08457 47 47 47 from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

And finally, tips for 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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"a company will get rid of the most expensive person in a group by weighting a subjective criteria heavily against that person. if you otherwise have a good work record, get them up in front of a tribunal."

unfairly selected brian