Being told you are at risk of redundancy is devastating, especially if you believe the process or decision to select you as the employee to be made redundant is unfair. If you have been told your job is at risk, you need specialist legal advice about your situation.
What is Redundancy?
A redundancy situation occurs when:-
- the employer's business or part of the business no longer operates; and/or
- the employer's business moves to a different town; and/or
- the business needs for a particular type of work or role has ceased or diminished.
Some redundancy situations are obvious, for example where a business closes down or ceases to trade. Other situations are more difficult, for example where the amount of work has reduced affecting some employees but not others.
Even if there is a genuine redundancy situation, the employer must follow a fair procedure and consult with employees about the process used to select which members of staff are to be made redundant.
If you have been notified you are at risk of redundancy, you need specialist legal advice. In addition, see our free downloadable guide. For a free, no obligation discussion, contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors.
When can a Redundancy be an Unfair Dismissal?
There are many reasons why what is purported to be a redundancy can actually be an unfair dismissal. The most obvious is where there is no genuine redundancy situation and the employer is using redundancy as an excuse to get rid of an employee they just don't want for some reason. This could be because of sickness absence, because they are about to take maternity leave, because of some discriminatory reason: indeed almost any reason except a genuine redundancy. Many employees have been made redundant only to see their job advertised in the local paper a few days later.
Alternatively, whilst there could be an underlying genuine redundancy situation, the employer could use an artificial selection process to ensure that those employees they wish to get rid of are selected for redundancy.
In addition, there could be a genuine redundancy situation and a genuine selection of employees, but the employer has failed to consider whether they have any suitable alternative employment available in their organisation for the at risk employee. Often the employer takes the original decision fairly and properly, but fails properly to monitor vacancies and alternative employment up to the end of the employee's notice period. The obligation to consider suitable alternative employment for a potentially redundant employee last up to and including their last day of employment.
As a general rule, you must submit your claim to the Employment Tribunal within three months of your redundancy. You use the last day of your employment as the first day when calculating the time limit. For example, if your last day of employment was 30th June, your claim would need to be submitted to the Employment Tribunal on or before 29th September. However, please note, before submitting your claim you will first have to go through the ACAS Early Conciliation Process. Employment Tribunal time limits can be extended if you are going through the conciliation process when your Employment Tribunal time limit would normally expire. However, if you do not start the ACAS Early Conciliation Process within the normal time limit, you will not receive any extension to submit your claim.
Employment Tribunal time limits are incredibly strict and if you have been dismissed you should seek legal advice immediately. Claims submitted "out of time" will not be accepted by the Employment Tribunal and in those circumstances your ability to pursue your claim will be lost. It is therefore important that if you have a workplace concern or issue, you take legal advice as soon as possible. For a free, no obligation discussion, contact the experience employment lawyers at Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors.