03 September 2020 #Employment
Only employees with a minimum of 2 years’ continuous service with their employer are entitled to statutory redundancy pay. Some employers may go beyond their legal obligations and offer a payment to those with less than 2 years’ service. You should, therefore, check your employer’s policy and terms on this.
There is in fact no legal right to be accompanied to a redundancy consultation meeting. However, employers who deny their employees the chance to be accompanied could in some circumstances be at risk of being found to have followed an unfair redundancy process. Employers would therefore be sensible to allow such requests, especially where the request is reasonable. Usually you would be expected to bring a colleague or trade union representative where you want to be accompanied.
A redundancy dismissal is likely to be unfair if the employer gives no consideration to whether there is any suitable alternative employment within the business for you. They must make reasonable efforts to look for alternative employment. Reasonable efforts include providing employees with sufficient information about vacancies so that they can make their own informed choices. Employers should not assume that you would not be willing to consider a role because it offers a lower level of pay or responsibility. However, where you are open to lower-level roles, it is worth making this known to your employer during the consultation process.
As a minimum you will be entitled to the notice as prescribed by statute. That being at least 1 week if you have been employed between one month and two years. Once you have worked for your employer for two years, you are entitled to at least 1 week’s notice for each full year of continuous employment, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. However, some contracts provide for a contractual notice period which is longer than this. You should therefore check your employment contract. Employers may look to make a payment in lieu of you working your notice period.
Employers do not have to offer a right of appeal in relation to a redundancy dismissal. However, in certain circumstances, denying an employee the right to appeal may affect the fairness of the redundancy process. Therefore, employers are generally advised to accommodate an appeal. If nothing else, it could help solve any issues that may otherwise result in tribunal claims.
Yes, employees who have at least two years’ continuous service and have been given notice of dismissal by reason of redundancy, have a legal right to take a reasonable amount of time off to look for other opportunities. The right to be paid for this time off is capped at 40% of a week’s pay.
Yes, employees on maternity leave can still be made redundant. However, employers cannot use selection criteria which discriminate on the grounds of maternity (amongst other things). By way of an example, where attendance records are included as a selection criterion, maternity related absences should be discounted for scoring purposes. Those on maternity leave who are at risk of redundancy also have an automatic right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancies.
High levels of absence can make you more likely to score lower against the employer’s selection criteria where absence levels are one of the criterions. However, employers need to be careful not to discriminate against those whose absences stem from a disability. Therefore, where your absences stem from a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010, these should be disregarded for scoring purposes.
Yes, those who volunteer and are accepted for voluntary redundancy will be entitled to the usual statutory redundancy pay provided they satisfy the eligibility criteria for statutory redundancy payments. Sometimes employers will incentivise employees to volunteer by offering enhanced redundancy payments to those who take voluntary redundancy.