An Introduction to Employment Law Advice & Redundancy Rights

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

In the current economic climate many employers, particularly those dealing with the public sector, may be considering reducing the size of their workforce. If your job is potentially at risk it is useful to know how you are protected by Employment Law and what your rights are in employment or in the unfortunate case that your job becomes redundant. If you have been employed by a company for over two years then your employer cannot simply make you redundant and dismiss you. There is a specific legal process that must be followed.

The employer must notify all those whose jobs may be at risk of redundancy – redundancy is where an employee is dismissed because there is a diminishing need for employees to do work of a particular kind, or the employer closes down the business, or the employer closes down the employee’s workplace. It is important to note that it is the job rather than the person doing it that is being made redundant.

The employer must then consult with the employees and try to find alternatives to redundancy – perhaps other roles within the company; re-training for a different job function; moving to a different location. The consultation should begin as soon as possible. For twenty to ninety nine redundancies the minimum legal period for consultation is set at thirty days before the first dismissal takes place. For one hundred or more redundancies it is ninety days. It doesn’t matter how many people are facing redundancy your employer should consult with you.

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If there are no alternatives to redundancy, then those who are selected for redundancy should be chosen by fair and transparent criteria. That may be as simple as “last person in, first person out” or may be a relatively complex point-scoring system. However the employer cannot just pick those who are to be dismissed based on their own subjective preferences.

If you are made redundant you have a right to a payment from your employer and the amount you are entitled to depends on how long you have been employed by your employer, your age and your weekly pay (up to a legal limit). The maximum number of year’s continuous service that can be counted for statutory redundancy payments purposes is 20 and the current weekly pay limit is £400. Once you have been notified about redundancy your employer should allow you a reasonable amount of time off work to seek other employment.

If the employer doesn’t meet any of these requirements it is possible that they will have made an unfair dismissal and a complaint can be made to an Employment Tribunal. If the tribunal finds against the employer it can make a compensatory award. From 1st February 2011 the new maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increased to £68,400.

If you think that you may have been unfairly dismissed then you would be strongly advised to consult an Employment Law solicitor. Most people are nervous about contacting solicitors because they fear the costs involved.  However many solicitors provide a free initial consultation, usually via e-mail or on the telephone, to establish whether you have a case worth pursuing. An Employment Law expert will then be able to advise you regarding whether you have a case and give you indicative costs before proceeding.

Armchair Advice offers comprehensive advice and guidance on job loss through redundancy or otherwise; bereavement, relationships and divorce. They also provide advice and recommendations on related legal aspects such as employment law and making a will.
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