Before an employer decides to make you redundant, there must be a genuine need: such as your role is no longer required. It cannot just terminate your employment because it is selling the business or moving offices around the corner or has another person in mind for your role.

A procedure must be followed

When choosing employees for redundancy, your employer must use a method which is fair and which does not discriminate against you. If there are a number of people to choose from they must base their decisions on fair criteria. If a method for deciding redundancies has been agreed with a trade union, or there is a procedure written down in your employment contract, your employer should follow it.

Could I have a claim for unfair dismissal?

If your employer uses an unfair selection procedure or it is not a genuine redundancy this could be unfair dismissal and you may be able to claim compensation from an employment tribunal. It is quite common for employees to be dismissed unfairly when a business is taken over so if you're made redundant when a business is taken over contact us for immediate advice.

As well as claiming unfair dismissal, you may also be able to claim redundancy pay. You must have worked for your employer for at least two years to get statutory redundancy pay.

Consultation - fewer than 20 employees being made redundant

If your employer is thinking about making you redundant, they should consult with you before making a decision.If they don't do this, your dismissal for redundancy is potentially unfair even if you are in a genuine redundancy situation.

Consultation - 20 or more people are being made redundant

Where an employer is making 20 or more employees at one workplace redundant, this is called a collective redundancy. As well as consulting with you individually, employers making a collective redundancy have to follow a more formal consultation procedure – they must consult with a recognised trade union where there is one. Where there is no recognised trade union, your employer must consult with employee representatives before issuing redundancy notices. If they don't do this, you can go to an employment tribunal who could order your employer to compensate you for their failure to follow proper procedures.

Might I have a claim for discrimination?

It is discriminatory and against the law to choose you for redundancy because of your age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It may also be against the law to choose people for redundancy just because they work part-time or are pregnant, as this could be sex discrimination.

An employer can choose to make you redundant because of how long you have been working for them. For example, they can say that all employees who have worked for the company for less than one year will be made redundant. However, this might mean that more young people are made redundant which could potentially count as age discrimination. If you have been chosen for redundancy and you think the reason is discrimination, you may have the right to compensation. You can claim compensation for discrimination regardless of how long you've worked for your employer.

What if my employer's business is sold or transferred?

Where a business is transferred from one employer to another, this doesn't automatically mean that you are redundant. Your employment contract will continue and you will keep the same terms and conditions of employment with your new employer.

However, there are circumstances where you could get made redundant because of the transfer. This could either be by your old employer before the transfer takes place, or by your new employer after the transfer has happened. Your employer would have to show that: you were genuinely redundant, because there’s no longer any need for the work you were doing, and the transfer itself was not the only, or main reason, for your redundancy.

If you have been made redundant and think you may have a claim against your employer as a result, A City Law Firm can ensure the best outcome for you. Frequently a Compromise Agreement will be offered, contact us so that we can take you through this agreement and get the best terms and sums available for you.