Know Your Rights
It is essential that you know your rights when facing redundancy so that you know where you stand.
Check your contract
The terms and conditions here will tell you what you should expect from your employer in terms of notice periods, redundancy pay and the appeals process.
Before you receive notice of your redundancy your employer needs to consult with you meaningfully.
This means you have a chance to understand;
- Why they are making redundancies
- Who is at risk
- When and how they are choosing who to make redundant
- What other options have they considered (including your input) to avoid the redundancies
The process may vary depending on the number of staff in the company being made redundant (whether a collective consultation is required or just 1:1)
If they have not done this then potentially you may have a claim for unfair dismissal (If you have 2+ years service)
Make sure in all cases that your read your company policy on redundancy!
Right to representation
If your employer recognises a trade union it will say which one(s) in your contract. Without being a member of a union you are able to ask a representative to accompany you to any meetings with your employer ('right to accompaniment' Employee Relations Act 1999 Section 10 creates a statutory right for a worker to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union official of their choice during grievance and disciplinary procedures)
However, you may not be entitled to legal support or further advice without having been a member for a few months beforehand.
Suitable Alternative Employment
When making redundancies your employer must take all possible steps to avoid or reduce the number of redundancies. This means if it is available they must offer you ‘suitable alternative employment’
If offered and you don’t accept the role you may lose your redundancy pay!
BUT you are allowed to ‘trial’ the job for 4 weeks before deciding if the role really is a suitable alternative.
Anything not covered here or you have a more complex situation please email us for specific guidance. All communication remains confidential.