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08 October 2020

I’ve been made redundant - what legal rights do I have?

3 mins

If you are about to be made redundant or have already been told that your employer is making your role redundant, you will no doubt have a lot of questions around your legal writes. Neil Emery, associate in our Employment team answers some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from those faced with redundancy. 

How much notice does my employer have to give me if they make me redundant?

  • You are entitled to your contractual notice or, if your contract is silent on notice (or you do not have a written contract), no less than the statutory minimum (a week’s notice for every year worked, up to a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice).

Can I be made redundant while on furlough and if so what is the overlap?

  • Yes, an employee can be made redundant while on furlough or after it ends. Employee’s redundancy rights are not be affected by being furloughed.

Does my employer have to offer me an alternative role within the organisation?

  • An employer does not have to create alternative employment for redundant employees where none already exists, but a “redundancy” dismissal is likely to be unfair if, at the time of dismissal, the employer did not consider whether suitable alternative employment existed within its organisation.

Do I have to work through my redundancy notice period?

  • If your employer gives you notice, you remain employed by them until the end of that notice, and so do have to attend work, as normal (failure to do so, whilst still being paid, could be an act of misconduct).

What happens during the consultation period of my redundancy?

  • The consultation period should be an opportunity for the employer to explain the circumstances leading them to decide that redundancy might be an option, and for the employee to question their selection (including selection criteria, if any), and to put forward alternatives to redundancy.

At what stage should I contact a solicitor when I am made redundant?

  • Contact us, if you believe that the dismissal is unfair (such as if it is a foregone conclusion, or for discriminatory reasons, for example), or if you are being offered a settlement agreement. A settlement agreement is a document under which you will waive your employment law rights, in return for compensation. For it to be binding, you need to obtain independent legal advice on its terms and effect.

If I am offered a settlement agreement, do I have to use the solicitor my employer recommends or should I choose someone else?

  • No, you have the right to choose who represents you. Your employer should usually make a contribution towards your legal fees for getting advice on the agreement.

Am I allowed time off when redundant to find a new job?

  • You have the right to take a reasonable amount of paid time off during working hours to seek alternative employment or to arrange training for future employment, provided you will have two years’ continuous service at the termination date.

If you have any questions about your redundancy or if you are about to be made redundant please contact the team. 

How can we help you?

We are here to help. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch below.