Unfortunately, many people in the UK workforce are currently facing redundancy due to the various impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Knowing your rights in a redundancy situation will help you feel more confident and more in control, not to mention better positioned to make the best decisions about your future jobs and career. So, here is our advice on your rights if you’re made redunant.
Redundancy is not being fired
Redundancy happens when a business needs to reduce its workforce for some reason. This means you’re not losing your job because of disciplinary action i.e. something that you have done wrong. As such, you have considerable rights by UK employment law.
Your employer must select people for redundancy fairly. This means they cannot choose you for redunancy based on things such as being pregnant, your age, or being a member of a trade union. They can, however, make decisions based on things such as length of service and can look at your past disciplinary and performance records. They may also ask for volunteers to be made redundant.
The same rules of fairness must apply if you’re being made redundant whilst furloughed. It’s also important to note that you may have additional rights regarding redundancy written into your contract. Your legal rights are the bare minimum that should apply, but you should also check your employment contract to see if you have additional rights.
It won’t happen instantly
Your employer can’t make you redundant on the spot. You’re entitled to a “consultation” period. Consultation rules are more stringent the greater the number of people being made redundant. For example, if more than 20 people are being made redundant, the consultation period must start at least 30 days before anyone is given their notice. For over 100 people, it’s 45 days. Even when the business has gone bankrupt, this consultation has to occur.
However, following this consultation period, the amount of notice you are given will vary according to how long you’ve been employed by the business. Those who have been with their employer for less than two years but more than one month are entitled to at least a week’s notice. Between two and 12 years, you are entitled to a week of notice per year of employment. Over 12 years’ service, you must get 12 weeks’ notice.
What about pay?
Unfortunately, you’re only entitled to redundancy pay if you’ve worked for the same employer continuously for more than two years, although some employment contracts may be more generous. The way that redundancy pay is calculated is quite complicated and uses formulas that consider your age, current salary, and length of service. You can use the gov.uk redundancy pay calculator tool to work out what you’re due. You must also be paid for any outstanding holiday.
Don’t worry if your employer has gone bankrupt. The government will cover your statutory redundancy pay if your employer is unable to pay it.
Note that you don’t pay tax on the first £30,000 of redundancy pay. At the end of the 2020-21 tax year (1st April 2021), it’s worth checking whether you’ve paid the right amount of tax. This will be dependent on things like how quickly you find a new job and how much it pays.
How to find another job
If you’re looking for office support jobs in London, then we can help, so register as a candidate. If you’re facing potential redundancy, your employer may have to give you paid time off to look for work. Again, the rules around this depend on your length of service.
Although numerous roles are being made redundant, there are opportunities for job candidates. You may also find it useful to consider temporary jobs in London whilst you look for something more permanent. We’re here to help you find a new role. If you’re facing redundancy, then give us a call on 020 7870 7177.
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