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Redundancy – make sure you get the right deal

September 15 2017

Recent news of job losses at Asda comes soon after Tesco axed its workforce by thousands and Sainsburys announced plans to make 1000 staff redundant. The oil and gas industry also continues to shed jobs, with an estimated 13,000 lost in 2017 so far.

Thousands of workers will be wondering what redundancy means for them and how to make sure they get the best possible deal from their employer. If you’re one of them, read on for some useful tips and advice.

Know your rights

Your employer must use a fair process for selecting employees for redundancy. Common methods are ‘last in, first out’ or asking for voluntary redundancies.

If your employer makes redundancies on the basis of e.g. age, whistleblowing activities, membership of a trade union or one of several other criteria, this would count as unfair dismissal.

There is a statutory notice period before your employment ends; this varies depending on how long you have been employed.

If you have been employed for between 1 week and 2 years, the notice period is a minimum of 1 week. If you have been employed for between 2 and 12 years, it’s 1 week for each year. If you have been employed for more than 12 years, it’s 12 weeks.

You will normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you are classed as an employee and have worked for your employer for 2 years or more.

Currently, this stands at:

  • half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
  • one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
  • one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older

The contract you have with your employer may also have an impact on the terms of your redundancy. For example, you may get payment in lieu of notice if that is part of your contract.

Settlement agreements

As part of your redundancy package, you may be asked to sign a settlement agreement. This outlines the terms of your redundancy and will usually include the condition that you will not bring any kind of legal action against your employer. It is the final part of the redundancy process.

By law, you must have independent legal advice before you sign a settlement agreement and your employer will normally pay for this. Your legal advisor will help you decide whether to accept your redundancy deal. They will also advise you on whether there are any grounds for a claim against your employer.

At PM Law we have many years of experience in employment law. We will be able to advise if you have a claim for unfair dismissal and have successfully acted for many clients at Employment Tribunals.

If you have been asked to sign a settlement agreement, we will be happy to act as your independent legal advisor. Contact our employment team on 0114 220 1795 or email disresenquiry@pm-law.co.uk.

More information here.