Thursday 25th November
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on what to look out for if you are concerned about redundancy.
I returned from furlough at the end of September and there is talk at work that my employer is looking to make redundancies. I have never been in this situation before, what should I look out for?
If you’re at risk of redundancy, it’s important to know you do have rights to help protect you from unfair dismissal and to ensure you’re paid what you’re owed.
It’s completely understandable that you may find the rules and procedures overwhelming, but our employment expert has set out the seven things anyone at risk of redundancy should check:
- Check if your redundancy is fair. There are rules to protect you from being discriminated against, and from being picked for redundancy due to an unfair reason. For example, although you can be made redundant while pregnant or on maternity leave, if this is the reason for doing so, it counts as automatic unfair dismissal and discrimination. Other examples of unfair reasons for choosing someone for redundancy include being picked because you work part-time or you made a complaint about health and safety.
- Check how much redundancy pay you get. You’re entitled to at least ‘statutory’ redundancy pay if you’ve been an employee for two years or more. The amount you will get depends on your age and how long you have worked for the company. You can check this at GOV.UK Some employers make enhanced contractual redundancy payments on top of the statutory amount.
- Furloughed? Make sure you get 100% redundancy pay. If you are made redundant, your redundancy pay should be based on your normal wage and not the 80% that you’ve been getting during furlough.
- Check your notice period. If you’ve worked for your employer for at least a month you’re entitled to paid notice that you’re being made redundant. After one month in the job, you must be given one week’s notice, rising to two weeks after two years service, and then a further week per year of employment up to a maximum of 12 weeks. You may be entitled to a longer notice period as part of your employment contract. Your notice period only starts when your employer confirms that you’re going to be made redundant and not when you’re only at risk of redundancy. Your employer might decide to give you notice pay instead of making you work your notice period – this is called ‘pay in lieu of notice’.
- Check your holiday pay. You’ll be paid for any statutory holiday you have left over when you leave. This should be at your normal pay rate, even if you were previously furloughed on 80% of your pay. Your employer can tell you to take any remaining holiday during your notice period as long as they give you the right notice (two times the length of the holiday they want you to take).
- You might be entitled to paid time off to look for work. If you will have worked for your employer for at least two years by the end of your notice period, you’re entitled to ‘reasonable’ time off to apply for jobs or go on training. You can take the time off at any time in normal working hours and your employer can’t ask you to rearrange your work hours to make up the time off. When taking time off to look for work, you’ll be paid at your normal hourly rate, but only for up to 40% of the time you take off – for instance for up to two days if you work a five-day week. The rest will be unpaid.
- Check if you’ve got legal help via your home insurance. Often people get ‘legal expenses cover’ as part of their home insurance package, but many don’t realise they can get free legal help to challenge their redundancy if they think it’s discriminatory or unfair. It’s worth checking the terms and conditions and speaking to your insurer. If you have a trade union at work, you could also contact them. Your union can help you work out if you’ve got a claim, and support you through the process, for example by going to meetings with you or negotiating on your behalf.
For more information and advice go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Look out for our column next week when we focus on meeting the cost of Christmas.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk