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Dismissal for Redundancy?

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Are you an employee facing dismissal for redundancy? Maybe you believe you were unfairly selected? Perhaps you wish to your selection for redundancy? Are you an employer? Do you wish to make some of your staff redundant?

In this article we will explain what dismissal for redundancy is. We hope to give you all the information you need and more by answering the following questions:

Is redundancy a form of dismissal?

Can I claim unfair dismissal if I am made redundant?

How do you challenge dismissal for redundancy?

Is redundancy a form of dismissal?

Redundancy happens where an employee no longer requires the services of an employee.

A dismissal for redundancy is a form of dismissal. It arises when an employer dismisses someone from their job because the work they carry out is no longer needed or their job role is coming to an end.

An employee may face dismissal for redundancy in the following situations:

  • The business will be moving to another area or it is closing.

  • The business wants to cut the number of staff to reduce its business costs.

  • The business intends to use new equipment and procedures which will make an employee’s job role redundant.

When choosing employees for dismissal for redundancy, an employer must follow a fair redundancy process.

A fair selection process must be used.

When choosing which employee to dismiss for redundancy, an employer must not consider certain factors such as:

  • Age

  • Ethnicity

  • Race

  • National origins

  • Religion

  • Gender

  • Sexual orientation

  • Marital status

The employer must also arrange a consultation with the employee. In the consultation the employer should inform the employee the reasons for the redundancy. The employer should help the employee find suitable alternative employment for the employee within their company or any related organisation if it is possible to do so. They should also consider any available options other than redundancy.

Can I claim unfair dismissal if I am made redundant?

If you face dismissal for redundancy and you believe the reason that you have been given for your selection for redundancy is not genuine or your employer did not follow a fair selection procedure then you can challenge the redundancy and claim unfair dismissal.

How do you challenge dismissal for redundancy?

If you are facing dismissal for redundancy and you believe it was an unreasonable decision made by your employer or you believe you were unfairly selected, you can challenge it. You have two options (1) Appeal your dismissal to your employer, (2) Put in an unfair dismissal claim to the Employment Tribunal.

If your Appeal is unsuccessful and you want to make an unfair dismissal claim to the Employment Tribunal, you must issue your claim within three (3) months less one day of the dismissal for redundancy. You must also have been employed by the employer for at least two years to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

If you were selected for redundancy because of whistleblowing or unlawful discrimination on the basis of one of the protected characteristics (e.g gender, race, sexual orientation) set out in the Equality Act 2010 or for asserting one of your statutory rights under s.104 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (amended) (e.g trade union rights, right to statutory redundancy payment, rights conferred by the Working Time Regulations, TUPE and unlawful deductions) then you can claim automatic unfair dismissal and the two year time period does not apply.

Key points

1. Appealing your dismissal for redundancy to your employer

Check to see if the organisation you work for has an appeal process for dismissal for redundancy. If they do, you can start the official appeal process for your dismissal for redundancy.

Before making an appeal to your employer you may first wish to speak to your employer on an informal basis. If you find it difficult to talk to your employer alone then you can ask a member of the Trade Union to accompany you.

Whether or not your employer has an existing appeals process, you should also contact an organisation called Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). You also need to notify ACAS as soon as you have started your appeal for unfair dismissal. ACAS helps to resolve work related disputes between employers and employees.

ACAS will engage in a process called ‘early conciliation’ with you and your employer and will try to achieve a settlement of your unfair dismissal claim so you would not need to take further steps such as going to an employment tribunal. If the conciliation process is unsuccessful, ACAS will provide you with an early conciliation certificate. This certificate is needed before you can issue proceedings against your employer. If the conciliation process is successful the terms of the settlement will be set out in a settlement agreement prepared by ACAS. For more information on settlement agreements, click here.

It is important to start your appeal for your dismissal for redundancy immediately you receive an “at risk of redundancy” letter.

You need to prepare thoroughly for your appeal, and you must provide all the information and evidence for the reasons as to why you believe your dismissal for redundancy was unfair. Some of the reasons for which a redundancy may be held to be unfair are: (1) discrimination (2) employers failure to follow a fair process (3) your employer has recently taken on other people doing similar work (4) you have a bad relationship with your employer or work colleagues and have been singled out for that reason. For more information click here.

(2) Putting in a claim for unfair dismissal to an Employment tribunal

If your appeal fails, you may decide to make an unfair dismissal claim to an employment tribunal.

The tribunal will decide whether your dismissal for redundancy is fair.

Please note that since July 2017, you do not need to pay for making a claim to an employment tribunal in the UK.

How can Pure Business Law help?

If you are an employee who is facing redundancy or an employer considering redundancy, please contact us and book a consultation with one of our expert employment law solicitors. We are specialist Employment Law Solicitors based in Bedford and operate nationally.

Our highly experienced Employment Solicitors can help with advice and preparation of your redundancy letter. If you are an employer, we can also review your “at risk of redundancy letter” and advise on you moving forward.

If you would like to discuss anything raised in this article, please contact us and speak with one of our solicitors. Pure Business Law is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and is a licensed member of the Law Society of England & Wales.

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