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A guide to your redundancy rights

In the current economic climate, redundancies have become an all too common occurrence. But what sort of rights to you have if your company decides to lay you off? This guide to redundancy is designed to help you make the most of a difficult situation, and recognise if and how you have been unfairly treated.

Your Redundancy Rights

A Guide to Redundancy

Although the majority of current redundancies relate to the needs of companies to cut back on spending, or indeed to the outright closure of a business, companies also hold the right to make you redundant if your job position has become unnecessary, perhaps for reasons of technological improvement, or general restructuring.

If an employer is making less than twenty members of staff redundant, each redundancy must be discussed personally with each employee. This consultation must take the form of a direct conversation, discussing the reasons for your redundancy and what alternatives there might be.

If an employer is making more than twenty members of staff redundant, it is classed as a collective redundancy. Instead of consulting each employee individually, in this situation the employer only needs to communicate with a "representative" of the employees (for example, a trade union leader).

These consultations must clearly explain and justify the employer's reasons for making you redundant. If these conditions are not met, you may have been subjected to an unfair dismissal, and your case might warrant an Employment Tribunal, which can award you up to 90 days' pay.

Alongside your entitlement to statutory redundancy pay (calculated based on your age, the length of your employment, and your weekly salary), your company must try to offer you alternative employment within the company, or, if this is not possible, give you time off for job hunting.

More information

An official guide to your redundancy rights is available at direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/RedundancyAndLeavingYourJob/Redundancy/DG_10026616, with links to comprehensive information about your rights to consultation, statutory redundancy pay and possible Employment Tribunals.

Additionally, you can call the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service for more information relating to employment rights at 08457 47 47 47.

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