Redundancy - A brief overview
One minute you’re sat at your desk working on your current project, and aimlessly wondering what to cook for dinner, and the next you’ve been told you’re at risk of redundancy and you’ve to leave the office. Being made redundant can be one of the most stressful and traumatic things a person can experience in their career, and it’s more common that you might think – with around 100, 000 employees in the UK being made redundant a quarter.
A redundancy occurs when your role in the company is no longer required, if you are directly replaced, this is NOT redundancy. Your role may not be required for any number of reasons – a restructure, technology replacing your role, relocation of the business or even if the business ceases trading.
There are several ways in which employers select employees for redundancy, but these have to be fair and non-discriminatory, generally they consist of:
· Last in, first out
· Disciplinary records
· Staff appraisal markings
· Skills and Qualifications
There are a many reasons which would be classed as unfair reasons for your selections and they include things like:
· Marital Status
· Religious Beliefs
And numerous others. If you feel you have been unfairly selected you can of course appeal the decision which will require you to write to your employer and often involves employment lawyers.
If you’ve been employed by your current employer for more than 2 years then you will be entitled to statutory redundancy pay:
· 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
You will however not be entitled to this if your employer offers you suitable alternative employment – this is based on the pay, the nature of the work, and the terms being offered. If you were to turn town suitable alternative employment you may lose the statutory redundancy pay.
You will be paid your notice period, and how long this is depends on how long you have worked for the business, under 2 years is one week, and thereafter it is a weeks notice for every year worked up to a maximum of 12 years. Often employers will offer a “payment in lieu of notice” which means your employer will pay you everything up front instead of giving you a notice period.
If you find yourself in a position whereby you have been made redundant, the most important thing to do is read up and fully understand your rights, check that your employers have completed the process as they should have and that you have not been unfairly treated. Being made redundant can be heartbreaking, but often it can give you the opportunity to sit back and think about your career and where you would like it to go. It could be chance you’ve needed to update your skill set or embark on a new career altogether – something you might not have been able to do without the redundancy payment.