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Redundancy: Do you know your rights?

Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job. Finding yourself in this position can be very overwhelming, frightening and demoralising. Knowing your rights and where to seek help can keep you focused rather than floundering.

If you’re being made redundant, you might be eligible for certain rights, including redundancy pay, a notice period, a consultation with your employer, the option to move into a different job and time off to find a new job.

You must be selected for redundancy in a fair way, for example because of your level of experience or capability to do the job.You can’t be selected because of age, gender, or if you’re disabled or
pregnant – this could be classed as an unfair dismissal.

Being selected for redundancy
Your employer should use a  fair and objective way of selecting you for redundancy.Commonly used methods are:

• last in, first out
• asking for volunteers
• disciplinary records
• staff appraisal markings, skills, qualifications and experience

Your employer can make you redundant without having to follow a selection process if your job no longer exists, for example, if the company is closing down and is making all employees redundant.

Unfair selection
It would be classed as unfair dismissal for many different reasons, including if you were made redundant based purely on your gender, sexual orientation, race or disability or if you are on maternity leave.

Reapplying for your own job
You might be asked to reapply for your own job, which could help your employer decide who to select.
If you don’t apply or you’re unsuccessful, you’ll still have a job until your employer makes you redundant.

Appealing the decision
You can appeal if you feel that you’ve been unfairly selected. Write to your employer explaining the reasons. You may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

For further information on redundancy please visit www.gov.uk/redundant-your-rights or Acas – www.acas.org.uk

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