Redundancies are always complicated issues and can cause much stress within the workplace. Redundancies are, unfortunately, sometimes necessary. In some cases, however, an employee may be made unfairly redundant.

For a redundancy dismissal to be fair there must first of all be a genuine “redundancy situation”, where the need for employees to perform a particular type of work has ceased or diminished, or is expected to diminish in the future. There may be a reduction in work due to lack of orders, or the business may be closing.

If an employer is considering redundancies, they must consult all potentially affected employees as soon as possible, and consider all reasonable alternatives to try to avoid the need for dismissals.

In order to make redundancies as fair as possible, employers must use objective selection criteria. Typical examples of criteria include disciplinary history, absence, time-keeping, experience and qualifications. Employers cannot use any criteria that are discriminatory, such as age or sex. Employers must also look at individual employment cases very carefully. It’s important to ensure each case is dealt with on its own merit, so that, for instance, an employee who has been absent for an extended period due to a serious illness or operation is not treated unfairly.

Expert Legal Advice

If you feel you have been made unfairly redundant, we can help. We will thoroughly assess your case and determine whether you are entitled to make a compensation claim. We understand that losing your job can be very distressing, which is why we will provide you with clear, effective advice to put you in the best position possible for the future.


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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are my redundancy rights?
  • Redundancy is a particular legally defined situation.  In the simplest of terms it is a situation that arises when a business closes, where a particular workplace closes, or where the requirements of the business for employees to do a particular kind of work has reduced.  If you are selected for dismissal due to redundancy (and provided you have been employed continuously for a period of two years), then you are entitled to a minimum redundancy payment which is currently one week’s gross pay for each year of continuous employment up to a maximum of twenty years.  The current maximum weekly pay that is taken into account is £464, and the calculation is also adjusted according to your age.

  • How are people selected for redundancy?
  • Employers need to follow a very careful procedure when selecting individuals for redundancy.  Broadly speaking this involves appropriate consultation, attempts to reduce the risk or number of redundancies, and an appropriate selection process which must be fair and objective.  If the proper procedure isn’t followed then the dismissal can still be unfair just because the employer has not followed the correct process.

  • How easy is it to challenge a selection pool?
  • This depends on the particular circumstances.  If the process has been followed fully and fairly then it can be difficult.  Having said this, many employers do use redundancies as an opportunity to dismiss members of staff who really should not have been selected.