If you have been dismissed by reason of redundancy, you may be entitled to take paid time off during your notice period, specifically to look for new employment or arrange training for your future employment. Please read on to find out more.
Right To Time Off
If you have been dismissed by reason of redundancy, you may be entitled to take paid time off during your contracted working hours in your notice period, specifically to look for new employment or arrange training for your future employment.
You will only be entitled to do so if:
- You have been given notice of dismissal by reason of redundancy; and
- You have been continuously employed by the company for two years or more; and
- The time off is to look for new employment or arrange training for your future employment; and
- You have requested reasonable time off.
Each of the above conditions are addressed below.
a) Have You Been Given Notice of Dismissal by Reason of Redundancy?
Firstly, you will only be entitled to this paid time off if you are under notice (i.e., working your notice period) of dismissal by reason of redundancy. You will not, therefore, be entitled to this time off if you have been dismissed for another reason, such as misconduct.
To explain, if you have been dismissed by reason of redundancy, the definition of redundancy should have been met. Your dismissal should be wholly or mainly attributable to:
- Your employer ceasing to trade altogether; or
- A workplace closing or moving; or
- There is a reduced need for employees to carry out a particular kind of work.
For more information about this, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/are-you-in-a-redundancy-situation/
b) Have You Been Continuously Employed by The Company for Two Years or More?
To be entitled to this paid time off, you must have also been continuously employed by the company (i.e., your employer that has decided to make you redundant) for at least two years. This is calculated from the later of:
- the date when your notice period is due to expire; or
- the date when notice would expire if the statutory minimum notice was meant to be given (For more information about your entitlement to notice, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/leaving-your-job-make-sure-you-understand-your-notice-entitlements/ ).
Unfortunately, this means if you have been made redundant with less than two years continuous service, you are not afforded this specific right to time off during your notice period. You may, therefore, need to use your remaining annual leave to search for employment, attend job interviews etc. For more information about your holiday entitlement, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/annual-leave-what-holiday-should-i-get-off-work/
c) Is Your Time Off to Look For New Employment Or To Arrange Training For Your Future Employment?
As above, if you are working your notice period after being made redundant and you have at least two years’ service with your employer, you have the right to reasonable (paid) time off from work. Importantly, however, this right is only limited to reasonable time off to either:
- Look for new employment (for example, attend interviews or a job centre)
- Arrange training for your future employment.
For this reason, if you wish to exercise your right to time off under Section 52 of Employment Rights Act 1996, it is important you inform your employer in advance about what you intend to do with your time off. For example, that you will be attending an interview with a new employer.
You should inform your employer about the reason for your absence so they can decide about your right to time off, as per Section 52 of Employment Rights Act 1996. Importantly, your employer could refuse your request for time off if they do not consider your request is genuinely to look for new employment and/or arrange training for your future employment.
d) Is Your Request For A Reasonable Time Off?
Finally, in addition to the above, you are only entitled to take reasonable time off during your working hours (in your notice period) to look for new employment/arrange training for your future employment. This means your employer does not have to automatically allow you to take time off – they can reject your request if it is reasonable for them to do so.
Unfortunately, there is no set definition of “reasonable” in the legislation, nor is there any set procedure for how you should request time off in accordance with Section 52 of Employment Rights Act 1996. However, to try and avoid your request being considered unreasonable, we would suggest you:
- Follow your employer’s holiday request policy or procedure (if they have one)
- Explain you are requesting time off pursuant of Section 52 of the Employment Rights Act 1996
- Provide your employer with as much notice as possible about your required time off
- Make your request for time off in writing (this is also helpful should there be a later dispute)
In deciding whether to allow your request for time off, your employer will likely consider factors such as the needs of the business, the duration of your request and/or the effect your absence may have on the business.
How Much Should I Be Paid for My Time Off?
If you have requested time off under Section 52 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, you should be paid for your absence at an appropriate hourly rate. How this will be calculated will, of course, depend on your personal circumstances. However, generally:
- If you work a set number of hours per week under your contract of employment, an appropriate hourly rate can be calculated by dividing your usual week’s pay by the number of hours you work each week.
- Alternatively, if your working hours differ each week, your week’s pay should be divided by your average amount of working hours. You should calculate this average by using the previous 12 weeks, ending with the last complete week before the date your notice was given.
Importantly, however, there is an overall limit on how much you can be paid under this provision. Your pay should not exceed 40% of a week’s pay. For example, if you work five days per week, this would amount to approximately two paid days off.
I Am Having Issues With My Employer – What Should I Do?
As above, if the above conditions are met, your employer should allow you to have reasonable (paid) time off to look for new employment and/or arrange training for your future employment. As such, you may have a potential claim in the Employment Tribunal if your employer:
- Has (unreasonably) refused your request for time off to look for new employment/arrange training, even though the conditions above are met; or
- Allowed you to take time off but has refused to pay you accordingly.
If you are experiencing one (or both) of the scenarios above, you should firstly raise your concerns with your employer. We would always recommend raising such concerns in the form of a Formal Grievance. After all, your issues could be resolved internally. For more information about this, please see here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/how-do-i-raise-a-grievance-about-work/.
If the matter cannot be resolved, however, you may have a potential claim(s) in the Employment Tribunal. If this is the case, you would need to start the Employment Tribunal process within three months (less one day) of the action. For example, three months (less one day) from the date on which it is alleged that your time off should have been permitted. You start the Employment Tribunal process by initiating ACAS Early Conciliation. For more information about ACAS, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/acas-early-conciliation-what-is-it-all-about/.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you have been made redundant and you are having issues with your employer, please contact us for a free no obligation initial consultation. Please use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email email@example.com or call us on 01522 440512 and we’ll be happy to help.
For more information about the redundancy process, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/redundancy/.
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