15 frequently asked questions about redundancy

If you’re worried about redundancy, firstly check out your rights to ensure you’re being treated fairly.  You may find these answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) helpful:

  1. Do I have redundancy rights?

If you are legally classed as an employee, and you’ve worked continuously for your employer for 2 years, you have redundancy rights.

  1. Does the Coronavirus pandemic affect my redundancy rights?

No, you have the same redundancy rights during the pandemic, including the right to redundancy pay.

  1. Is my employer allowed to make me redundant?

Your employer can only make you redundant if your job is no longer needed.  This may be because they have to close part or all of their organisation, or they need to make significant changes to the way the organisation works.  You cannot be made redundant for any other reason such as your performance or conduct at work.

  1. What is a redundancy consultation?

By law, your employer must consult all employees affected by redundancies.  This is usually done face-to-face or can take place over the phone.  During the coronavirus pandemic it is more likely that you will be consulted with remotely, using the phone or video technology if available.

During the consultation your employer should explain why you are at risk of redundancy and give you the chance to ask questions and make suggestions.

Your employer must show they have listened to you and considered your ideas, but they do not have to agree to the changes you suggest.  There are set rules for large-scale redundancies, known as ‘collective redundancy’.

  1. What is a ‘selection pool’?

A ‘selection pool’ is a group of employees who are at risk of redundancy.  Your employer may use a set of agreed criteria to decide who should be made redundant from the pool.  They cannot use criteria that discriminates against you in any way.  For instance, you cannot be selected due to your age, sex, race, religion, disability, and so on.

  1. Does my employer have to give me redundancy notice?

Yes, by law your employer must tell you in advance that you are being made redundant and they must keep paying you until you leave your job.  This is called ‘redundancy notice’ and the details of this notice should be given to you in writing.

  1. How much redundancy notice will I get?

This depends on how long you’ve worked for your employer.  By law, if you’ve been working for your employer for more than a month, you’re entitled to statutory notice.  The minimum statutory notice periods are shown in the table below:

How long you’ve worked for your employer Minimum notice period
1 month to 2 years 1 week
2 years to 12 years 1 week for each year you’ve worked
12 years or more 12 weeks

Your employer may give you more than the minimum notice period above, but they cannot give you less than this.

  1. When does my redundancy notice period officially start?

Check your employment contract as it might explain when your redundancy notice period starts.  It usually starts from the day after you receive the notice, whether you were given the notice in person, or received the notice by email or letter.

  1. Will I be paid during my redundancy notice period?

You should receive your normal pay during the statutory notice period.  If your employer has given you more than the statutory notice period they should confirm whether you will receive full pay during this extra time.  If you are off work for any reason during your notice period (for example, on holiday or on sick leave) you may not be entitled to full pay so you should check this with your employer.

  1. What is a payment in lieu of notice?

This means you receive your redundancy payment instead of working your redundancy period.  If your employer offers this to you, they should give you full pay and anything else that is included in your contract such as pension contributions.

  1. Can I leave my job before my redundancy notice period ends?

If you find another job you may wish to leave your current job before your redundancy period ends.  You must ask your employer to agree to this and ensure they put it in writing.  If they don’t agree to it, they may class this as a resignation and this could affect your eligibility for redundancy pay.

  1. How much redundancy pay will I get?

Redundancy pay is based on your age, the number of years you’ve worked for your employer, and your earnings before tax.  For instance:

Age Minimum Entitlement
17 to 21 Half a week’s pay for each full year you’ve worked
22 to 40 1 week’s pay for each full year you worked from the age of 22, and half a week’s pay for each full year you worked between the age of 17 and 21.
41 and above 1 ½ week’s pay for each full year you worked from the age of 41, 1 week’s pay for each full year you worked when you were between the age of 22 and 40, and half a week’s pay for each full year you worked between the age of 17 and 21.

Your employer must tell you how much redundancy pay you are entitled to, and they must explain in writing how they worked this out.  You can check this is correct by using the redundancy pay calculator.  You can only get redundancy pay for up to 20 years of work.

You may be entitled to more than the minimum statutory amount if it’s written in your employment contract.

  1. Will my ‘furlough’ period affect the redundancy pay I receive?

If you’ve been on ‘furlough’, your employer must use your full normal pay during the furlough period when they work out your redundancy pay.

  1. What is ‘suitable alternative employment’?

If you have redundancy rights, your employer may offer you another job instead of making you redundant.  You don’t have to accept the job offer if you don’t think it is suitable for you.  This may depend on the level of pay, location of the job, how similar the job is to your current job, and whether you have the skills to do the job.

If you are offered another job, it should start within 4 weeks of your current job ending.  You are entitled to a 4-week trial period in the new job and this should start after you’ve worked your notice period.  You can still get redundancy pay if the trial does not work out and you explain to your employer in writing why the job is not suitable.

  1. Can I appeal against my redundancy?

Yes, if you feel that your employer has not followed a fair redundancy process or you believe you have been unfairly selected for redundancy, you can appeal against the redundancy decision.  You should firstly check if your employer has an appeals process, and if not, you should write to them explaining your reasons for appeal.  Your employer must confirm in writing whether they accept or reject your appeal.  If they reject your appeal and you still believe your redundancy is unfair, you can make a claim to an employment tribunal.

For more information about your redundancy rights, check out the government guidance, or useful organisations such as ACAS or Citizens Advice.