Redundancy and leaving your job
Last Updated: 04.12.2010
If you are facing redundancy, you should still be treated fairly by your employer and there are certain steps they would be expected to follow. You may also be entitled to a redundancy payment.
In this section you will find help and advice on redundancy.
What is redundancy?
Redundancy is a form of dismissal from a job. It can come about for several reasons. For example, if new technology or a new system has made your job unnecessary, if the job you were hired for no longer exists, the need to cut costs means that staff numbers must be reduced or the business is closing down or is relocating and you do not wish to move or the option to move is not in your contract.
What happens next
In a redundancy situation, the following things should happen:
- Your employer should select you fairly
- You should be consulted about the redundancy
- You should get any redundancy pay you are due and be given the correct amount of notice
- Your employer should consider any alternatives to redundancy
How does an employer select who will be made redundant?
Your employer should use fair and objective means by which to select members of staff for redundancy. It is up to your employer to decide which method to choose as long as it is fair. The most common methods are asking for volunteers (self selection), last in, first out (where the employees with the shortest service are chosen first), disciplinary records or by staff appraisal (markings, skills, qualifications and experience).
Sometimes an employer might use a combination of criteria to come up with some kind of points scoring system on which to base their decision. Your employer may also ask you to re-apply for your own job. If you decide not to apply, or are 'unsuccessful', you still have a job until your employer decides to select you for redundancy. Also, by volunteering for redundancy, it doesn't necessarily mean that your employer is going to select you.
It is definitely unfair if you have been selected for redundancy for discriminatory reasons. Here is a list of reasons where redundancy is unfair and you may wish to take your case to an Employment Tribunal:
- If you have taken or are on maternity leave
- If you are a member (or opt out of becoming a member) of a trade union
- If you take part in industrial action lasting 12 weeks or less
- If you have to do jury service
- If you're accused of 'whistle-blowing', i.e. making disclosures about company wrongdoings
- If you take action on health and safety grounds
Your right to consultation
Employers should always consult with their employees before making them redundant. This can either be done individually or collectively if a group is being made redundant.
If the employer is planning on making more than 20 staff members redundant within a 90 day period, the relevant trade union or employee representative must be informed firstly. The consultation should cover ways to avoid a redundancy situation and how to keep dismissals to a minimum. It should take place at least 30 days before the redundancies are due to begin or 90 days if more than 100 employees are involved. If this doesn't happen, you can take your employer to an Employment Tribunal which can award up to 90 days' compensation to each employee.
Your employer should also try to speak to you individually about the reasons why you've been selected and to discuss possible alternative options to redundancy if there are any. If this doesn't happen, your redundancy might be deemed unfair.
You have the right to redundancy pay if you are an employee aged between 18 and 65 and have worked continuously for your employer for the last 2 years. A redundancy payment isn't due to you if work picks up and your employer offers to keep you on or offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without good reason. If you leave your job for another one before the end of your notice period, your payment might also be affected. Redundancy pay can also be claimed if you have been temporarily laid off for more than 4 weeks in a row or 6 weeks in any 13 week period.
Calculating your redundancy pay
There may be an agreement in your contract explaining how redundancy pay will be worked out. However, if this gives you less than the statutory pay, the statutory amount applies. The first £30,000 of any termination payment is tax free.
- Half a week's pay for each complete year of continuous service between the ages of 18 and 21
- A full week's pay for each complete year of continuous service between the ages of 22 and 40 and
- A week and a half's pay for each complete year of continuous service between the ages of 40 and 64.
If you're 64 or over, your payment will be reduced by one twelfth for each complete month you're over 64 which means that if you are 65 or over, you won't be entitled to any redundancy payment.
What if I have problems with my redundancy?
If you have any problems or worries regarding redundancy, please visit a North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau and speak to an Employment Adviser. You can find our contact details at the bottom of the page, our hours of business can be found on our opening hours page, alternatively, you can email us via our contact us page.
Leaving your job
No-one stays in a job forever, and you’ll move on from every job eventually, whether it’s a resignation or a dismissal, a promotion, redundancy or retirement. However, if you leave your job voluntarily, there are important things you should know.
Notice you must give your employer
If you have worked for your employer for one month or more, the legal minimum amount of notice you must give is one week.
Normally your employment contract will set out a longer notice period. If it does, you should give this length of notice to your employer.
If your employment contract does not set out a notice period you should give a reasonable period of notice to your employer. This is included in your employment contract as what is known as an ‘implied term’. What is 'reasonable' will depend on your seniority and how long you have worked there.
How leaving your job can affect your entitlement to benefits
If you have voluntarily quit without good reason, your Jobcentre Plus can delay your Jobseeker's Allowance. If you are claiming constructive dismissal, make sure they know. If you can't claim Jobseeker's Allowance, you may still be able to claim a hardship payment, which is a reduced amount of Jobseeker's Allowance.
Get advice before you leave your job
If you are considering leaving your job, please visit a North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau and speak to an Employment Adviser. You can find our contact details at the bottom of the page, our hours of business can be found on our opening hours page, alternatively, you can email us via our contact us page.