Redundancy Advice for Employees
Being made redundant is often confusing, upsetting and stressful, with the potential to leave you in financial difficulties and cause serious insecurity for you and your loved ones. Getting expert legal advice can ensure you get the maximum redundancy pay available, giving you some financial security and buying you time to find a new job.
At Graham Evans & Partners, we regularly advise employees of all levels on every stage of redundancy proceedings. We can help to make sure you are treated fairly during redundancy, including ensuring that the selection process is fair and that, if you are selected for redundancy, you get the full redundancy pay to which you are entitled.
We know how difficult a time this can be, so as well as providing you with the benefit of our legal expertise, we will also offer you the sensitive personal support you need to deal with this challenging situation.
If you have been made redundant or are facing potential redundancy, we can offer the fast, clear and experienced advice you need to protect your employment rights and achieve the best possible redundancy package.
To discuss your needs with our expert redundancy solicitors in Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot, please get in touch.
How the redundancy process works
When can an employer make redundancies?
A redundancy situation arises if:
- the employer has stopped or intends to stop carrying on the business in the place where the employee is employed
- the employer’s need for employees to carry out work of a particular kind has reduced or stopped or is expected to do so.
Employers who fail to follow proper procedure when dismissing employees for redundancy expose themselves to the risk of successful unfair dismissal claims.
What happens during redundancy?
Employers are required to take the following steps when considering dismissing on the grounds of redundancy:
- Collective redundancies
- Application of selection criteria
- Redundancy dismissals
- Redundancy Payments
Redundancy rights for employees
An employer is under a duty to consult employees about the potential redundancy situation at an early stage, before notifying them that they are to be dismissed for redundancy.
The purpose is to consider alternatives to redundancy which may include:
- offering voluntary redundancy or early retirement
- transferring to staff to fill existing vacancies elsewhere in the business
- offering to train staff to gain new skill sets which will be more pertinent to the future of the business, and/or
- offering the opportunity to job share
An Employer has a duty to :
- Write to the employee and invite them to attend a meeting to discuss the situation and enable the employee to put their case against being dismissed
- If the employer’s decision to dismiss is unchanged, the employer must again write to the employee advising them of the decision and of the employee’s right to appeal.
If the employee exercises the right to appeal the employer should hold an appeal meeting and subsequently advise them of the outcome of that meeting in writing.
The period over which consultation takes place is determined by the number of employees effected. Employers who fail to comply with collective consultation obligations are at risk of claims for a protective award. This award can be as much as 13 weeks’ pay for each affected employee.
Where there are less than 20 employees, the employer is not restricted by the statutory requirements of collective redundancies. However, it is good practice to consult employees at an early stage. Early consultation will allow alternatives to be fully explored and thereby reduce the risk of claims of unfair dismissal.
Who can be selected for redundancy?
Employers must follow a fair selection procedure to select an employee for redundancy, both in the choice of selection criteria and how they are applied. A variety of criteria may be used such as: disciplinary record; relevant skills; adaptability; profitability; or time-keeping.
Should an employer choose criteria such as attendance, they should not take account of any absences that relate to a persons disability or which occur as a result of maternity leave. If such absences are included when assessing an employee's attendance record, any resulting dismissal could give rise to claims of disability of sex discrimination.
In addition to ensuring that selection is based upon accurate records, employers must ensure that criteria applied is both objective and consistent.
How are redundancy payments calculated?
Employers are required to pay statutory redundancy pay to employees who have at least 2 years continuous service. Some employers pay enhanced redundancy terms but, for those who do not the Statutory award applies, which provides for:
- 0.5 weeks pay for each complete year of employment where during the year the employee is under 22years old;
- 1 weeks pay for each complete year of employment where the employee is between 22 and 41; and
- 1.5 weeks' pay for each complete year of employment where the employee is over 41.
In calculating statutory redundancy pay, weekly pay is capped, currently at £330.
Contact our redundancy lawyers in South Wales
For clear, practical advice on dealing with redundancy in Swansea, Bridgend or Neath Port Talbot, please get in touch.