What is an at risk of redundancy letter?

Have you just received an “at risk of redundancy letter”? What does it mean to be “at risk of redundancy”? What is the redundancy consultation process? What is the statutory notice period for a redundancy? Perhaps you are considering voluntary redundancy and want to know what statutory redundancy pay you are entitled to? In this article we will cover all of this and more by answering the following questions:

What does it mean to be at risk of redundancy?

What should be in included in an “at risk redundancy letter”?

Can you request redundancy?

Receiving an “at risk of redundancy letter” can be unnerving but it does not have to be. We understand that it is important for an employee to be aware of their rights, their options of suitable alternative employment and the employer’s obligations. The employer must use a fair process when thinking about redundancies, consult all employees and inform them if they are at risk of redundancy.

For most employers redundancy is a last resort option.

What does it mean to be at risk of redundancy?

Redundancies usually occur when the business is undergoing an organisational restructure, the business is closing, the business is being acquired by another employer or the position for which the employee was employed will no longer exist. To be at risk of redundancy means that there is a chance that an employee will be dismissed from their job.

When considering redundancies, a business should consider the following:

  • The Employee’s Contract of Employment.

  • The consultation process.

  • Fair selection criteria. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service state that employers should consider the following criteria when selecting an employee for redundancy.

  • Standard of work

  • Skills, qualifications, or experience

  • Attendance record (do not include absence relating to disability or maternity)

  • Disciplinary record

  • Whether to invite a voluntary redundancy from any employees before making any compulsory redundancies.

  • Whether there is any suitable alternative employment.

  • The statutory redundancy notice period.

Length of time employed - Statutory Notice Period

  • Between 1 month and 2 years - 1 week

  • Between 2 years and 12 years - 1 week’s notice for each year of employment.

  • 12 years or more - 12 weeks

  • Statutory redundancy pay. An employer should pay the employee throughout their notice period or in lieu dependent on the circumstances.

What should be in included in an “at risk of redundancy letter”?

An “at risk of redundancy letter” should state that the employee is “at risk of redundancy”. The letter should also include the reason for the proposed redundancy and any details as to why the specific employee has been selected.

Consultation details should be provided, as appropriate.

Number of proposed redundancies - Rule for consultation process.

  • 19 or less - No specific rule.

  • 20 to 99 - Consultation process must start 30 days before a redundancy is made.

  • 100 or more - Consultation process must take place 45 days before a redundancy is made.

Any details of suitable alternative employment should be contained within an “at risk of redundancy letter”. The suitable alternative employment must be reasonable. The alternative role should ideally have similar pay, skills, and role. These are factors which should be considered by the employer. If an employer does not provide suitable alternative employment, when one exists, then the employee may have a right to claim r unfair dismissal.

Can you request redundancy?

Voluntary redundancy is the process whereby an employee volunteers to be dismissed from their job in return for a financial incentive. Voluntary redundancies generally occur where the employer wants to reorganise and restructure the business. The employer would generally have a voluntary redundancy package with good financial incentives for the employee to volunteer for a redundancy.

An employee can request a redundancy however, it is the business that decides whether it wants to accept the request. If the business accepts then this is known to be voluntary redundancy.

The criteria for selecting staff for redundancy must be fair and not discriminate in any way. This means that voluntary redundancy should not only be offered to people who are closer to their retirement age, are pregnant or have a disability.

How can Pure Business Law help?

If you are an employee who has received an at risk of redundancy letter 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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