Have you just been made Redundant?
A genuine redundancy situation can lead to a fair dismissal within the law. However, redundancy can be unfair for one or more of the following reasons:
There was no genuine redundancy situation
Your employer failed to offer you suitable alternative employment
Your employer failed to consult you
You have been unfairly selected for redundancy
Genuine Redundancy Situations
In general terms there are three main situations which will constitute a redundancy:
Closure of the whole business
Closure of the particular workplace where you are employed
A reduction in the size of the workforce needed by the business
If a redundancy situation exists, your employer must consult all employees who are at risk of redundancy as soon as possible, informing them of the situation and discussing with them any alternatives and the implementation of the redundancy situation. Failure to consult may lead to a finding of unfair dismissal by the Tribunal.
Employers have further obligations and duties where 20 or more employees are being made redundant.
The selection criteria applied to select you for redundancy should be objectively fair. For example, punctuality, relevant skills and length of service can be used as objective selection criteria depending upon the particular circumstances. The criteria should be applied to all employees who are potentially redundant and the scoring procedure should be carried out in a thorough and objectively fair way.
Failure to follow a fair selection procedure can mean the redundancy selection is unfair entitling the employee to claim unfair dismissal.
Suitable Alternative Employment
Your employer has a legal duty to consider whether there is any suitable alternative jobs available and to offer those to you before confirming your redundancy.
You should be careful before rejecting any alternative employment offered by your employer since if you do so unreasonably then you may lose your entitlement to a redundancy payment.
Compensation for Redundancy
If you have been employed for more than 2 continuous years before the date you are made redundant, you are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment and you may also be entitled to a further payment if this right is set out in your contract of employment or a precedent has been set by previous redundancies made by your employer.
Failure to inform and consult with employee representatives or recognised trade union representatives could result in each employee being awarded up to 90 days' pay (protective award).
If you believe your redundancy is unfair, you may be able to claim unfair dismissal.