Just because your employer says you are redundant, it doesn’t necessarily mean your dismissal is fair. If you are facing redundancy in these uncertain times, it is important you protect your position and get expert guidance. Read my post for some essential tips.
What is a redundancy?
A redundancy situation tends to arise when the employer a) closes down completely, or b) closes down your particular office, or c) and most often, has a reduced need for employees of a particular kind. You clearly need to know which situation you are dealing with and so you should challenge your employer about their need for redundancies. Ask why, why now, what are they hoping making you redundant will achieve, what will happen to your duties and responsibilities, what alternatives have they considered etc. Make sure your concerns are known, make sure you obtain a response from your employer to your questions and that there is a record of any evidence you present contradicting their answers.
This is particularly important during the present COVID 19 pandemic because if the impact to your role is solely due to your employer’s “operations having been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)“, they could give consideration to placing you on furlough leave in the first instance.
Is the pool of employees at risk of redundancy identified correctly?
The pool for selection is essentially the group of employees the employer decides they will select from to make employees redundant. The pool might be the sales team, the finance team, or the whole company. Each case will be different. If your employer has identified a pool of employees from which they intend to select for redundancy, you need to be satisfied this pool is right (by this we mean not too wide and not to narrow). You can question your employer as to how they selected the employees for the pool. If you think certain staff have been unfairly left out the pool you should tell your employer. You can also challenge your inclusion in the pool if you think it is unfair.
Are you being unfairly selected for redundancy?
If you are satisfied there is a genuine redundancy and that you should be in the pool, that is not the end of the process. You are then likely to be subject to a selection process and you need to know if that process and your selection was fair. Selection can take place in a number of ways but very commonly, it is by a selection matrix or scoring system. You should make sure you fully understand how scores will be allocated and if your scores are fair. Unbelievably, I have advised clients who were selected for redundancy simply due to a calculation error (ie their scores weren’t added up correctly). Other things to look out for here are unfair selection methods like last minute presentations or unreasonable interviews, being scored by people who you perhaps are unhappy with, or unreasonable evidence being used to support scores.
Suitable alternative positions if you are being made redundant?
If you’re unfortunate enough to be made redundant, your employer should do all they can to minimise the risk of dismissal by looking at suitable alternative employment. Make sure you ask your employer about any other roles, speak to HR and check any internal job boards.
Also, and as I have said above, if the impact to your role is due to COVID 19, ask your employer to place you on furlough leave, or provide a written explanation as to why that is not appropriate in their view. This can then be challenged if necessary.
What payments are you owed if made redundant?
If you are being made redundant, even if you believe this to be fair, please make sure you receive all your entitlements. Things to look out for here are redundancy pay (check your statutory entitlement and also if the company are offering any enhancements), notice pay, outstanding holiday pay, bonus, commission and expenses. It is also always worth asking the company to provide you with a copy of any redundancy policy or procedure they have. This could include important information about enhancements and steps that must be taken before a dismissal is communicated.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you are going through a redundancy process or have been made redundant, please call me on 01522 440512. You are under no obligation and you will not be charged for your initial telephone consultation where I will identify if I think you have a potential claim. Alternatively, visit our website at at www.lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy for more information.
Director, Specialist Employment Law Solicitor