What are your Redundancy and Employment Rights when losing your job?

What are your Redundancy and Employment Rights when losing your job?
September 6, 2017 Stacey Corrin

What are your Redundancy and Employment Rights when losing your job?

Losing a job can be one of the most stressful things that can happen in your lifetime. Knowing your employment rights can be invaluable if you are being made redundant or think you may have been unfairly dismissed.  

CashLady takes a look at some key redundancy and employment rights that you may have if you are dismissed from your job. 

Employment rights: Being made redundant

Sometimes, a business owner or manager may need to reduce the number of people working for the business.

This could happen because, for example, the company no longer needs a particular role or roles.

Employers should use a fair method to pick who they are going to make redundant. For example, this could be a “last in, first out” approach.

If your job no longer exists, your employer could make you redundant without following a fair method such as this. Take a look here for more information about commonly used methods and when redundancy may be unfair dismissal.

If you have been told that you are going to be made redundant, you may be entitled to a number of different things.

Notice and consultation

You must be given notice that you are to be made redundant.

How much notice depends on what is in your employment contract.

However, there are statutory minimum notice periods that your employer cannot go below.

If you have been employed for less than 2 years and more than 1 month, you should get at least one week’s notice that you are going to be made redundant.

If you have been employed for between 2 and 12 years, you should get one week’s notice for each year you have been with the company.

For those who have been employed by the business for 12 years or more, you should get 12 weeks’ notice.  

If you are being made redundant, you are also entitled to a consultation with your employer.

Payment in lieu of notice

You should be paid throughout your notice period.

In some circumstances, your employer could pay you in lieu of notice. This means that your employer could pay you instead of giving you a notice period. 

This could include any extras mentioned in your contract, such as private healthcare.

Redundancy pay and time off for job hunting

You may be entitled to statutory redundancy pay.  

The amount you could get depends on how long you have been employed with your current employer.

Additionally, if you have been employed for 2 years or more when you are made redundant, you may be entitled to time off so that you can search for another job.  

What are your Redundancy and Employment Rights when losing your job?

Your right to appeal the decision

If you think your employer has “unfairly selected” you for redundancy, this may be unfair dismissal. You may be able to go to an employment tribunal if you believe this to be the case.

Unfair dismissal: How to appeal

Your first step is to write to your employer and explain why you think you have been unfairly dismissed. Include what you want your employer to do about it.

If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you could try to get your trade union representative to help, if you have one.

If not, you must then notify Acas that you want to go to an employment tribunal. Acas will then offer you something called Early Conciliation, to help you resolve the dispute with your employer. This usually happens before you go to an employment tribunal.

There are strict limits as to when you can do this, so it is important to contact Acas as soon as possible if you think you may have been unfairly dismissed.

Dismissal: Your employment rights

In order to dismiss you from your job, your employer must be able to show that they have acted reasonably. They must also have a valid reason for asking you to leave. 

If your employer has dismissed you for doing something that other employees have been allowed to do, for example, then you may be able to go to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

Usually, you should be given notice that you are going to be dismissed.

However, sometimes, if what you have done is serious enough (known as gross misconduct), you could be sacked without being given a notice period.

For more information on the reasons you can be dismissed and what may constitute unfair dismissal, take a look at the government website.

Conclusion

Understanding your employment rights is vital if you have lost or are about to lose your job. 

This way, you can make steps towards taking control of the situation.

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