A redundancy procedure is an incredibly stressful and anxious time for any employee. It is important that your employer follows the correct procedure when implementing a redundancy situation. This blog looks at one element of the redundancy procedure – whether a genuine redundancy situation has occurred.
What is a Redundancy Procedure?
A redundancy procedure will occur when your employer tells you that sadly your role is no longer available or necessary within the company. This can be an extremely worrying time for you and your family.
It is important that a correct, fair, and reasonable redundancy procedure is conducted.
If the employer has followed a correct, fair, and reasonable redundancy procedure, you should be able to answer all of the following questions:
- Has a genuine redundancy situation occurred?
- Has a period of genuine consultation taken place?
- Has a pool of ‘at-risk’ candidates been correctly identified?
- Has there been a fair assessment and selection from that pool?
- Has the employer considered suitable alternative vacancies?
This blog focuses on the first question, but for further information on all of these important redundancy steps, please see our blog: https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/are-you-being-made-redundant-five-questions-to-ask/
When will a Genuine Redundancy Situation Occur?
A redundancy situation is defined by the Employment Rights Act 1996 and can occur in three specific circumstances. These are:
- Closure of the business as a whole.
This is the most straight forward definition. A genuine redundancy situation will occur if the business is closing in its entirety.
The closure can be permanent or temporary. For example, a restaurant which closes for refurbishment would be able to rely on this definition in a redundancy situation.
- Closure of the particular workplace where the employee was employed.
The second definition looks at the particular workplace where the employee is employed to work. If that particular workplace closes or intends to close, then that would give rise a genuine redundancy scenario.
- The particular work that the employee carries out has ceased or diminished or is expected to cease or diminish.
The third definition encompasses the situation where the employer is looking to reduce the size of the workforce or restructure the business. The employer does not necessarily have to show that there is less work to be done, but rather than they require fewer employees to carry out this type of work. This situation can apply to both stand alone roles and teams.
Fair and Proper Procedure.
As highlighted above, for a redundancy dismissal to be fair and legal, your employer must follow a proper and reasonable redundancy procedure. This means that you should be able to answer all the questions outlined at the start of the blog. Therefore, just because your employer has been able to identify a genuine redundancy situation does not automatically mean that your dismissal will be fair and legal. Your employer must then conduct a correct redundancy procedure.
For more information on a correct redundancy procedure, please see the below blogs:
What Should I Do If I Have Been Made Redundant and I Consider there was Not a Genuine Redundancy Situation?
If you are made redundant you can appeal the redundancy decision. You should be informed of your right to appeal in your dismissal letter.
In your appeal you should outline the reasons why you consider the redundancy process has not been properly and fairly conducted. Your employer must then investigate your appeal and the points you have raised. If possible, the redundancy appeal should be conducted by an independent person who was not involved in the redundancy process.
You should be invited to a redundancy appeal meeting, in which you can discuss your concerns and appeal points in more details. Once the appeal investigation has concluded, you should be provided with an Appeal Outcome letter or report which advises whether your appeal has been upheld or rejected.
Employment Tribunal Claims and Time Limits
If you have been made redundant and consider that there was not a genuine reason for your redundancy or that the redundancy procedure was not conducted properly, you may have a claim for Unfair Dismissal.
If you want to issue a claim of Unfair Dismissal, there are strict timescales which you must comply with. You must commence ACAS Early Conciliation within 3 months less one day from date of dismissal.
ACAS Early Conciliation is a mandatory process that all potential litigants must go through before they can bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal. The aim of ACAS is to try and resolve the dispute between you and your employer without the need for further claims to be brought in the Employment Tribunal. If you are unable to resolve your dispute through ACAS Early Conciliation you will then be able to proceed to the Employment Tribunal.
These timescales must be adhered to regardless of whether you have appealed and are waiting for your appeal to be investigated.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you have are going through a redundancy procedure and would like further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation, initial phone call on 01522 440512. For more information on redundancy, please see our website: https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/redundancy/
Specialist Employment Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors