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As redundancy solicitors, we are here to provide you with advice on employment law for redundancies when it comes to being made redundant. Where an organisation needs fewer employees to carry out work of a particular kind, whether as a result of a reduction in business or where it decides to close part of its operation or restructure, employees may be faced with redundancy.
Before putting individuals at risk of redundancy, an employer must carefully consider the requirements of the business and identify employees who carry out the same or similar work. An employer should write to affected employees to inform them that they are at risk of redundancy, giving reasons why redundancies are being made and explaining how employees will be selected.
An employer should meet with employees individually (unless the employer proposes to make 20 or more redundancies, in which case different rules apply) and consider ways in which the business may be able to avoid making redundancies or reduce the number of redundancies that it needs to make. For instance, an employer may be willing to consider part-time working, a temporary reduction in hours, or it may offer voluntary redundancy or early retirement. Consultation is an important part of the process and it is crucial that an employer does not make a decision about who to make redundant before it has met with the affected employees and properly considered all of the alternatives, including whether there are any other suitable roles available within the organisation.
As part of the selection process, an employer should score those employees at risk of redundancy on a series of objective criteria. The fact that there may only be one employee undertaking a certain type of work and so they are the only individual considered for redundancy does not necessarily mean that the process is unfair. It is important that the employer carefully considers the criteria it uses to avoid any unfair or discriminatory factors. For instance, some employers use ‘last in, first out’, however, this may amount to unlawful age or sex discrimination unless it can be justified. If an employer uses an employee’s absence record, this could amount to discrimination on the grounds of disability or pregnancy if an employee has had time off for illness or antenatal appointments.
If an employee is made redundant, they should be given the opportunity to appeal the decision and any appeal should be considered by a more senior individual who was not involved in the initial decision. An employee should ask to see the scores given by their employer if they have not already been provided, although they will be anonymised to protect confidentiality.
Our redundancy solicitors in London can provide you with guidance if you are looking to appeal against redundancy discrimination. If you have a disability and believe you may have faced redundancy disability discrimination, our redundancy lawyers in London can assist you through the process.
Where an employee has worked for their employer for two years or more, they will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment which is based on their age and length of service and can use the calculator on the Government website to work out what they are entitled to.
There are strict time limits to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal so if an individual is considering bringing a claim, they should seek advice as soon as possible.
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