People often panic when they hear the word ‘redundancy’ in the workplace. You may be concerned about your options going forward if your job is under threat. How will you feed your family? Will you ever get another job?
It’s ok to have these concerns, but it’s important that you address them rather than letting them fester. Knowing your rights is a big step in the right direction to gaining peace of mind.
If redundancy is on the cards, you have the legal right to:
If you feel you have been treated unfairly, you should be able to appeal the decision. If a suitable outcome cannot be achieved this way, you can also take your employer to a tribunal. If your employer has not followed a fair process in selecting you for redundancy, you may be asked to sign an agreement confirming that you won’t take them to a tribunal in response. There is often an additional payment involved at this stage.
Think carefully before accepting this sort of ‘compromise’ agreement and consult a union rep or solicitor if you have any concerns. Your employer is obliged to pay for independent legal advice so that you are fully aware of any rights you’re sacrificing.
If your employer doesn’t want you to continue in your role during your notice period, you may be offered gardening leave or a lump sum payment without any further work undertaken. If you take gardening leave, you will still be legally employed during your notice period and will need to stick to the rules of your contract applicable. You could be recalled to work within your notice period and are not eligible for other paid work in the meantime, unless you obtain permission.
Tying up loose ends
If you’ve been offered a new job and your new boss wants you to start before your redundancy notice period ends, put a written request in to your employer explaining when and why you want to leave. It’s up to them whether they accept your request. Failure to get the required clearance could result in you losing some or all of your redundancy pay. If your employer refuses, talk to your trade union or Citizens Advice.
On your last day at work, you should receive any outstanding wages, holiday pay and other money owed, references from your employer, a letter confirming the date of your redundancy, a written statement that shows how your redundancy pay has been calculated, a P45, and details of your workplace pension.