When is it ok to be redundant?

If you are an employee with at least two years' service in your job, you are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.

The law sets a minimum payment. This is normally paid by your employer, but the State will pay if your employer has gone bust.

Of course, many better employers pay more than the minimum compensation when making someone's job redundant. Sometimes there will be a redundancy scheme in your contract of employment. In other cases, your union will be able to negotiate more than the minimum and sometimes employers want to soften the blow, especially if they are looking for volunteers for redundancy.

But if you are only getting the legal minimum, this is what you will get:

  • half a week's pay for every year of service while you were under 22 years old;
  • one week's pay for every year of service between 22 and 40; and
  • one and a half week's pay for every year of service over 41.

A maximum of 20 years' service is taken into account and there is a limit to a week's pay for statutory redundancy purposes, which in April 2019 was set at £525. This means that the maximum payment under the statutory scheme is currently £15,750 (i.e. 30 weeks at £525).

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

When Is It OK to Be Redundant? When Is It OK to Be Redundant? When Is It OK to Be Redundant? When Is It OK to Be Redundant? When Is It OK to Be Redundant? When Is It OK to Be Redundant?

Redundancy: 19 Things You Need To Do

Home – Later Life – Redundancy: 19 Things You Need To Do

  • What if I told you that there are 19 things you need to know about how to survive redundancy?
  • Let’s face it: Redundancy happens …….
  • I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say:

Redundancy is one of life’s most stressful events.Whenever you lose a job it’s often emotionally difficultto handle. It is also much harder when you get older.

From my experience, there can be several important things you need to know and do before you see any benefits from your current job loss predicament

In this article, you will learn how to mentally survive the emotional shock of being made redundant using several practical tips which I have used over the years.

The good news is you will survive.……….

Though the time this journey can take varies for everyone. What I have always found interesting is that the HR people still believe that.

What is the difference between redundancy and retrenchment? 

In simple terms, your employer can make your position redundant when the duties of your position are no longer required to be done by anyone. Once the position in the organisation is made redundant, you being the person performing the duties in that role are more often than not made retrenched (lose your job and not be offered another in the organisation). (1)

When Is It OK to Be Redundant?

Often you never seem to have any control over this decision. It’s unsettling, with a range of emotions surging through you including:

  • anger
  • disappointment
  • disbelief
  • loss of confidence
  • the feeling of failure, loss, and
  • being overwhelmed with this changed situation

On rare occasions you could be thankful you have been unshackled to seize the opportunity you have been wanting to embark upon.

It doesn’t matter if it’s not how you foresaw your professional working relationship concluding. It forces you into a situation where you will have to accept change, make decisions, trust your intuition and look for opportunities. ….. Dawn of a new beginning.

The challenge for you now is How mentally prepared, are you?

As everyone can be retrenched including YOU!

So how quickly and effectively will you be able to:

  • adapt to this change
  • survive the situation, and
  • how effortlessly will you be able to make this transition?

You probably have no idea how to begin handling this situation, so, in this post, I’m going to explain the 19 things you need to know about how you can survive your redundancy.

This is because I realized most of the information online deals with the legal and practical aspects surrounding redundancy and retrenchments. I couldn’t find practical information on how as an individual you should cope with the emotional and psychological impact of redundancy.

19 ways to deal with the emotional aftermath and the realities of losing your job 

Redundancy is becoming increasingly common and will continue to have an increasing impact upon individuals, families and the community. With many businesses moving to:

When Is It OK to Be Redundant?

  • Employers wanting to reduce costs through the reduction of their workforce
  • Restructuring of job roles – increasing the number of work tasks among fewer people
  • Closing departments and moving jobs offshore to take advantage of cheap labour costs
  • Increase use of office automation, technology, artificial intelligence, robotics and the digital disruptors which will replace many of the traditional job roles within organisations and
  • Business mergers due to competition

This combination of new and old factors which are the reality of the economy today will only increase the number of redundancies occurring over the next few years.

1. Know your employee rights

There are several laws relating to an employer which they are legally required to observe. It requires employers to consult with their employees (and their union), through a process called consultation, if they wish to dismiss 15 or more employees.

Making someone redundant: The Small Businesses Guide

When Is It OK to Be Redundant? Sara Mirza

HR Advisor @ CharlieHR

Making someone redundant is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do – and for the sake of your small business, you need to get it absolutely right. In this post, we'll show you how to run a redundancy process that's both in line with the law and fair on the employee.

  • Please note: if you're looking for guidance on using the UK government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to place some of your employees on 'furlough', you can find our full guide here.  
  • In this guide, we're going to walk you through the full redundancy process and share with you some template legal documents that will make it easier for to stay on the right side of the law.
  • If you're looking for guidance on how to make redundancies at your small business, you can join our free webinar by clicking below.
  • When Is It OK to Be Redundant?
  • On this webinar, you’ll get to hear myself and Ben Branson-Gateley, CEO of CharlieHR, talk you through:
  • What to do when the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end
  • How to run a redundancy process that is fair, legal and compassionate
  • The action you can take right now to protect the future of your company

If you need help with any of the above, then you can register for the webinar here.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is the process by which an employer ‘lets someone go’ from their company when there’s no longer a business need for the work they are doing. It’s a very different thing to ‘firing’ someone, which implies that the employee has done something wrong – when someone is made redundant, it’s simply because their role no longer exists.

One of the tough realities of running a small company is that the business landscape is always shifting. While a particular role could be absolutely essential during one stage of a company’s lifecycle, that might not always be the case.

Perhaps business priorities change, maybe the company goes through a tough time financially or it decides to change the way that it does work. In any case, there'll often come a point when a particular role is no longer needed.

When that happens, you can’t just fire the person doing that job. Not only is it unfair, it’s also illegal. Instead, you need to take your company through a step by step redundancy process that has been set out by Acas, the public body that advises on employment law in the UK.

This isn’t just about keeping your business on the right side of the law (although that’s an important aspect). It’s about handling the redundancy process in a way that’s fair, considerate and respectful of the person you’re letting go from the company.

1- Avoiding redundancies altogether

The first step in the redundancy process set out by Acas is trying to make sure that it doesn’t need to happen at all.

Before you get as far as making someone redundant, there are all sorts of measures you need to consider to see if it can be avoided. If saving money is the objective, then there are all kinds of ways of cutting costs that don’t extend to letting people go. Cheaper office space, withdrawing perks and benefits or Learning and Development budgets are all valid options.

There are also methods of cutting staffing costs that don't go as far as making full on redundancies. That could mean:

  • Reducing your use of freelancers or casual labour
  • Slowing down recruitment in other areas of the business
  • Reducing or eliminating overtime
  • Moving the employees whose jobs no longer exist into other areas of the business
  • Short-time working (when an employee works reduced hours)
  • Offer some employees early retirement (with incentives to encourage them to take the offer)
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2- Non-compulsory redundancy (or voluntary redundancy)

How to cope with Redundancy

Redundancy – meaning a position of employment is no longer tenable – is a traumatic experience. It is possibly one of the most devastating events you’ll have to go through in your career but one that is becoming all too frequent across the industry.

Being made redundant may now be a commonplace feature of working life but it stills instils a cocktail of unpleasant feelings – a failure, not good at your job, sacked, fear, rejection, loss, humiliation, injustice.

So, why does it leave us feeling so bad? Loss of earnings leaves us feeling vulnerable and scared that we won’t be able to make ends meet. Our self-esteem is damaged. We feel hurt and paranoid. But what you have to remember is that it was your job, not you, that was made redundant. Many people who are made redundant go on to find more rewarding and better paid jobs.

However, the stigma that used to be attached to being made redundant no longer exists either.

Speaking to HR Managers within the medical communications businesses, they all say that redundancy does not impact on a candidate’s employability. Many managers will have been made redundant themselves.

Be prepared to be asked about the circumstances but answer confidently because you should have nothing to hide.


Redundancies take place when the employer shuts down the business, or the whole office, or when there is no longer the demand for the work that the employee does. Resignation is not the same as redundancy and if an employee actively resigns from their job they are not entitled to any redundancy payments.

There are many reasons for a company to reducie it's head count, or downsize; most common are:

  • Mergers or takeovers
  • Increase in operating costs
  • Loss of key business
  • New management
  • New technologies
  • Reduced profit.

TYPES OF REDUNDANCY There are two types of redundancy:

  • Compulsory redundancy is when your company’s business has been relocated, reduced or ceased trading altogether and the job no longer exists.
  • Voluntary redundancy is an alternative that opens up the choice to all employees to offer to take redundancy. However, just because it’s offered the employer does not have to accept it.

Employees have certain rights when facing redundancy. Employers should follow a code of good practice, which means:

  • Advance warning of the situation is given (the DTI issues formal notification time scales)
  • Selection criteria that are fair and objective
  • Alternative employment within the company is considered – while this happens, the employee may be on Garden Leave. Contractually you are not allowed to take up a new position during this period; this prevents employees from sabotaging confidential information, or going to competitors while still employed.
  • Assistance with job hunting is offered – e.g. use of a computer and telephone, or the Internet
  • There are open lines of communication with trade or employment bodies
  • Redundancy package (there are payment criteria).

If you are in any doubt about the validity of your redundancy you should consult a legal professional.

There are incidences of Constructive Dismissal where an employer has allowed actions to be taken which made someone feel that their job no longer exists; or Unfair or Unlawful Dismissal where correct redundancy procedures were not followed. It is very important to seek professional advice before accusing an employer of either or these.


So, now you are sitting at home; the feelings of rejection have subsided, you’re getting used to wandering into town for breakfast at that French patisserie, your golf has improved immeasurably, and you’ve finally reached the bottom of the laundry basket. However, garden leave is over and you have to start looking for a new job.

Redundancy: a step by step guide for employers

Going through a redundancy process can be stressful, and doing so without following the law could lead to expensive penalties. Thorough consultation with all those at risk, and continuing to look for alternative options to redundancy throughout, are essential steps to getting things right.

Redundancy also brings up several tricky questions, including whether it’s possible to make someone on maternity leave redundant, and when it’s ok to recruit again following a redundancy.

Our step by step guide will walk you through the process and tackle the difficult questions that employers often face when making redundancies. We’ll take you through the following steps:

When might you need to consider redundancy?

  • A redundancy situation might arise when a business or a workplace closes (maybe due to a relocation to a new site) or when there’s a reduction in the number of employees required to carry out a particular role.
  • In our experience, redundancies in small businesses usually happen for two reasons:
  • 1. Cost saving 
  • Fluctuations in the market and financial and cash flow problems can drive employers to look at ways to reduce their overheads, and employees are normally one of the biggest costs to a business.
  • 2. Restructure

With growth (especially rapid grown) there is normally a point in time where the organic structure of a company is no longer fit for purpose. You might find that you now have the wrong skill sets in important positions and that you could make more efficient use of roles and duties.

This might give rise to a restructure where employees are moved around but there is no reduction in the workforce (redeployment rather than redundancy) or you might need to change the roles substantially (usually a redundancy situation).

The redundancy process explained

  1. Before you start a redundancy process, it’s essential to be completely sure there are no alternatives.
  2. You’ll need to make sure that there’s no other way to solve the issue giving rise to the potential redundancy.

  3. Some considerations when checking for viable alternatives include:
  • Carrying out a cost review
  • Looking at benefits or bonuses etc. that could be cut
  • Considering reduced working hours or pay

Your research at this stage will also give you a good grounding for discussions with your employees during consultation.

If you do find an alternative in making changes to an employee’s terms and conditions, e.g. reduced hours or pay or bonuses, you’ll still need to consult with them about this.

If you don’t find any alternative, and reducing your workforce appears to be your only solution, you’ll need to follow the following steps, exercising fairness throughout.

Return to top

Step 1 – Be clear on your reasons

The first thing to do is to be clear about the reason(s) why you need to make one or more roles redundant, so that you can communicate these effectively with your staff.

Key to remember here is that you’re looking at the roles you need to make redundant, not who will be dismissed as a result. If the employee must be dismissed because their role is redundant, they are dismissed by reason of redundancy.

Step 2 – Determine which roles will be placed at risk of redundancy

If several people perform the same or a similar job within the area of your business where you feel changes must be made, you’ll need to include all these individuals within the ‘pool’ of people at risk of redundancy.

If there is just one person in a standalone post then it’s more straightforward, but this does need to be a true standalone post. Where there are other people who do similar jobs at a similar level, you should consider adding them to your possible ‘pool’ of people.

Step 3 – Let people know their post is at risk of redundancy

Your rights if made redundant

Your employer has responsibilities to treat you fairly and follow the correct process if they are considering making redundancies. They should think about any alternatives to making you redundant. Get an overview of your rights if you are facing redundancy.

Redundancy is dismissal from your job, caused by your employer needing to reduce the workforce. Reasons could include:

  • new technology or a new system has made your job unnecessary
  • the job you were hired for no longer exists
  • the need to cut costs means staff numbers must be reduced
  • the business is closing down or moving
  • If your employer is making fewer than 20 employees redundant in one establishment it is an individual redundancy.
  • If your employer is making 20 or more employees redundant in one establishment within a 90 day period it is a collective redundancy.
  • Collective redundancies generally occur when there is a:
  • business or building closure, meaning your employer no longer needs as many employees
  • reorganisation or reallocation of work
  • Relocation of work

Your right to consultation

Employers should always consult with you before making you redundant. The consultation should aim to provide you with a way to influence the redundancy process. The consultation will normally involve:

  • speaking to you directly about why you have been selected
  • looking at any alternatives to redundancy
  • applying dispute resolution procedures when required
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If this doesn't happen, your redundancy may be unfair dismissal.

  • Redundancy: your right to consultation

Collective redundancies

If your employer is thinking about making collective redundancies they have a duty to consult with the potentially affected employees' representatives.

If your employer doesn't consult the representatives, you may be able to make an Industrial Tribunal claim for a protective award. This is an award of up to 90 days' pay.

Redundancy selections and notice periods

Your employer should use a fair and objective way of selecting people to make redundant.  It should be evidence based rather than your employer just deciding who they want to make redundant.

Normally your job must have disappeared for your employer to make you redundant. It is not redundancy if your employer immediately takes on a direct replacement for you but it will not matter if your employer is recruiting more workers for work of a different kind or in another location (unless you were required by contract to move to the new locations).

However, it can still be a genuine redundancy if someone moves into your job after their job disappears, making you redundant (called bumping). This can be difficult for your employer to justify as fair and you will still qualify for a redundancy payment so long as no vacancy exists in the area (type of work and location) where you worked.

If your employer bases your redundancy selection on an unfair reason  you may be able to make a claim to an Industrial Tribunal for unfair dismissal.

  • Redundancy: selection and notice periods

Redeployment by your employer

If your employer is making you redundant they should try to offer you suitable alternative employment within their organisation or an associated company. Your employer should consider any alternatives to making your redundant.

  • Redundancy: new employment

Redundancy pay

Redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave

March 2018

This information sheet explains your legal rights if you are made redundant while you are pregnant, on maternity leave or shared parental leave.


There are three situations in which you can lawfully lose your job because of redundancy.  These are:

  • when the business closes down either temporarily or permanently;
  • when the business moves and you cannot get to the new place of work;
  • when fewer employees are required for existing work.

It is unfair dismissal and pregnancy/maternity discrimination to select a woman for redundancy because she is pregnant or on maternity leave.

Your contract of employment may give better rights. Always check your contract if you have one.

  • Some terms used in this information sheet
  • Ordinary maternity leave (OML): lasts for 26 weeks from the day you start your maternity leave.
  • Additional maternity leave (AML): starts at the end of OML and lasts for 26 weeks.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP): paid by your employer for 39 weeks if you meet the qualifying conditions. SMP is paid for 6 weeks at 90% of your average salary and for 33 weeks at a flat rate of £148.68 per week (April 2019-April 2020) or 90% of your average earnings if that is less.

Maternity Allowance (MA): paid by the JobCentre Plus to women who do not qualify for SMP and self-employed women. MA is paid for 39 weeks at a flat rate of £148.68 per week (April 2019-April 2020) or 90% of your average earnings if that is less.

Shared parental leave (SPL): mothers can reduce their maternity leave/pay to create shared parental leave for the father or partner or to take leave more flexibly within the first year.

Redundancy during pregnancy

I am going to be made redundant during my pregnancy. Do I still qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)?

To get SMP you must

  • have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the qualifying week (the 15th week before the week your baby is due) and
  • be employed in all or part of your qualifying week (employment includes part of a day and includes days on annual leave or sick leave), and
  • earn at least £118 (April 2019-April 2020) on average in the eight weeks or two months before the end of the qualifying week.

You will not get SMP if you are made redundant and your employment ends before your qualifying week (the 15th week before your baby is due) but you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance.

If you are made redundant and your employment ends in or after your qualifying week, you are still entitled to SMP for 39 weeks. If you are already on maternity leave and receiving SMP, your maternity leave will come to an end when your employment ends but your SMP must continue for the rest of the 39 week period.

In order to claim SMP you must give your employer 28 days’ notice of the date you want to start your pay. You must also give your employer a copy of your Maternity Certificate (MATB1) stating your expected week of childbirth which your midwife or GP will give you when you are about 20 weeks pregnant.

If you do not meet the qualifying conditions for SMP you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance from your local Jobcentre Plus. In order to apply for Maternity Allowance you will need to ask your employer to give you form SMP1 which explains why you were not entitled to SMP.

Note: once you qualify for SMP you are entitled to receive it for the full 39 weeks even if your job ends during the SMP period.

I was made redundant just before my qualifying week for SMP. Can I claim anything?

If your employer deliberately selects you for redundancy in order to avoid paying you SMP and you would have qualified if they had not done this, your employer automatically becomes liable to pay it.

You must apply to your local HM Revenue and Customs office within six months of the first day on which your SMP was due.

You may also have a claim for unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal and/or pregnancy discrimination (see below) and a claim for unpaid wages for loss of SMP.

However, if your redundancy was not related to the fact that you were about to qualify for SMP, you will not get SMP if you were made redundant before your qualifying week (the 15thweek before your baby is due) but you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance from your local JobCentre Plus.

Will I get redundancy pay?

If you have worked for your employer for at least two years, and you are aged 17 or over, you are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment when you are made redundant.

Your employer may offer you an additional contractual redundancy payment because they operate their own redundancy payment scheme. You should check your contract of employment.

If not, you will get the statutory redundancy payment which is worked out according to a formula: see the box below.

If you qualify for SMP, you will receive the full amount of SMP due after tax and NICs deductions in addition to your redundancy pay. A contractual redundancy payment is not subject to tax and National Insurance contributions and cannot be offset against your SMP.

When a settlement agreement amount is made up of both contractual redundancy and SMP the agreement must clearly record the full amount of SMP to which you are entitled, tax and NICs deductions, and the full amount of contractual redundancy. If the settlement agreement does not specify the amount of SMP payable you would be entitled to ask your employer to pay any outstanding SMP. If your employer does not pay your full SMP you should contact HM Revenue & Customs.

Your employer can offset your SMP against any other contractual remuneration payable e.g. payment for keeping in touch days or notice pay.

Will I get paid notice if I am made redundant during pregnancy?

You are entitled to a paid notice period if you have been in your job for at least one month. The amount you get will depend on your contract of employment. You should check your contract or staff handbook to see how much notice your employer has to give.

If nothing is mentioned, you will be entitled to the statutory notice which is one week’s paid notice after one month’s service and after two years’ service, a week’s notice for each year that you have worked for your employer, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Note:your employment actually ends at the end of the notice period (whether you have to work it or not) so that is when your redundancy takes effect. If you are still employed in all or part of your qualifying week (the 15th week before your baby is due) you can still get SMP – see above on getting SMP.

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If your employer gives you what is described as a ‘payment in lieu of notice’, your employment generally ends on that date. However, your employer can only make a ‘payment in lieu of notice’ if there is a clause in your contract which allows them to do so. If not, you are entitled to a period of paid notice and your contract of employment will end at the end of the notice period.

  1. Statutory redundancy payment
  2. If you are aged 21 or under you get half a week’s gross pay for every complete year of employment with the same employer.
  3. If you are aged 22‑40 you get one week’s gross pay for every complete year of employment with the same employer.
  4. If you are aged 41 or over you get one and a half weeks gross pay for every complete year of employment with the same employer.
  5. There is a maximum limit of 20 years’ service, no more than 20 years is taken into account.
  6. There is a maximum weekly wage limit of £508 per week.

If you are on maternity leave, your statutory redundancy pay should be calculated using your normal week’s pay or average week’s pay received before

Your legal rights when facing redundancy

If you’re faced with redundancy, your employer must treat you fairly and act in accordance with your contract and legal redundancy rights. That includes making sure you’re consulted, following the right selection process and giving you a proper notice period. If not, then you could have a claim for unfair dismissal, or claim compensation for lack of consultation.

Your right to a fair process

  • Redundancy happens when your job disappears. It is not the same thing as being dismissed from your job for other reasons
  • Your employer must use a fair and objective way of selecting job roles to make redundant, and tell you what it is.
  • If you think you’ve been selected unfairly (say, on the grounds of age, race or gender), or your employer has acted unfairly in other ways, you can normally appeal.
  • If you’re still not satisfied you can take your employer to a tribunal.

Redundancy versus unfair dismissal.

Your right to a minimum notice period


Make sure you check your contract of employment, as it might state that you’re entitled to longer notice periods.

A notice period is the amount of time between when your employer tells you that you will be made redundant and your last working day.

According to redundancy law, you’re entitled to a minimum notice period of:

  • 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more.
  • At least one week’s notice if you have been employed between one month and two years.
  • One week’s notice for each year if employed between two and 12 years.

Pay in lieu of notice

If your employer doesn’t want you to work your notice period they can offer you a lump sum instead – called pay in lieu of notice.

Pay in lieu of notice is taxed in the same way as your ordinary pay.

Find out more about how your redundancy money is taxed.

Gardening leave (garden leave)

You might be asked to serve out your redundancy notice away from work.

This is known as ‘gardening leave’ and it means that, although you’re not actually working, you’re still legally employed and will receive your normal salary and benefits but:

  • You have to stick to the rules of your contract.
  • You might be called back to work if you’re needed.
  • You can’t start a job with a new employer.

Compromise agreements

  1. If your employer has not followed a fair procedure in selecting you for redundancy, they might sometimes ask you to sign an agreement stating that you’ll not go to an employment tribunal (often in return for an extra payment).
  2. This is known as a ‘compromise agreement’.
  3. Your employer must pay for you to receive independent legal advice so you fully understand the rights you’re giving up.

Your right to consultation

  • Employers always have to consult with employees before dismissing them on the grounds of redundancy.
  • In short, your employer must tell you what’s going on and give you a chance to ask questions and raise objections.
  • As part of the consultation process, employers have to:
  • Consider alternatives to redundancy.
  • Look at ways to reduce the numbers of redundancies.
  • Look at how they can reduce resulting hardship.

The process your employer has to follow will depend on the number of redundancies planned.

Types of consultation needed and relevant time frames

Number of employees to be made redundant Type of consultation needed Timing of consultation
Less than 20 employees Your employer needs to consult with you individually only. Within a reasonable time
20–99 employees Your employer must carry out collective consultation. This means consulting with your union rep if there is one or, if no union rep, with your elected employee representative(s).It’s good practice for them to consult with you all individually too.If the employees decide not to elect a representative, then consultation will be with individuals only. 30 days before first dismissal
100+ employees Your employer must carry out collective consultation. This means consulting with your union rep if there is one or, if no union rep, with your elected employee representative(s).It’s good practice for them to consult with you all individually too.If the employees decide not to elect a representative, then consultation will be with individuals only. 45 days before first dismissal

Individual consultation

Your employer should arrange a meeting with you to explain what is happening and why.

  • You can ask to be accompanied by a trade union or employee representative.
  • You can raise objections and suggest alternatives to redundancy, for example alternative work, short-time working or lay-offs.
  • Your employer considers your objections and, if they decide to go ahead with redundancy, they must confirm this to you in writing.
  • Most employers will allow you the right to appeal if you’re unhappy with the decision, but if your employer does not offer an internal appeals procedure you can consider going to a tribunal.
  • If your dismissal is, or seems, unfair and you’ve decided to sign a ‘compromise agreement’ you do this once the discussions with your employer are over.

Collective consultation

According to redundancy law, if 20 or more employees are going to be made redundant, the consultation process is more structured and must involve trade union or employee representatives.

What happens after the consultation?

  • You receive redundancy notice.
  • You must be given at least the statutory notice period – 1-12 weeks depending on how long you’ve been in the job.
  • However, if you’re taking ‘gardening leave’ you will normally leave work as soon as you get your redundancy notice.
  • You are entitled to paid time off – usually two days – to look for work and also a reasonable amount of unpaid leave for job search and training.
  • Job ends.

Read our guide on Working reduced hours as an alternative to redundancy.

Your right to time off to look for work


You’re entitled to paid time off to look for work or undergo training. The amount of time you can take has to be reasonable.

  1. If you’ve worked continuously for your employer for at least two years they have to pay you up to 40% of a week’s pay to cover your time off.
  2. For example, if you work a five-day week you can take two days off in total to attend interviews and your employer will have to pay you for this time.
  3. If you take any more time off than this, they don’t have to pay you for it.
  4. Some employers are more generous so it’s worth discussing it with them.

Leaving your job early

  • If you’re offered a job and your new employer wants you to start before your redundancy notice ends, speak to your employer and see if you can leave early without losing your redundancy pay.
  • Put your request to leave early to your employer in writing saying when you want to leave.
  • If you leave early without your employer’s permission, you could lose some or all of your redundancy pay.

Last day checklist

On your last day at work you should receive the following:

  • Details of your pension
  • Job references from your employer
  • A letter stating the date of your redundancy
  • Your P45 (to give to your new employer so you’re taxed correctly)
  • Any redundancy pay, wages, holiday pay and other money due to you
  • A written statement showing how your redundancy pay has been calculated

For more help

Acas offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Labour Relations Agency provides an impartial and confidential employment relations service in Northern Ireland.

Find out more on the Labour Relations Agency website. Contact the Labour Relations Agency Helpline on 028 9032 1442. Report a technical issue with this page

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