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Redundancy rights

Updating author: Max Winthrop


  • Although redundancy might be thought to cover any situation where an employee, through circumstances over which he or she has no control, finds him- or herself without a job, the law gives a more limited definition of what constitutes a redundancy. (See Definitions)
  • The law concerning redundancy and the right to receive a redundancy payment was introduced by the Redundancy Payments Act 1965, which was subsequently amended by the Employment Protection Act 1975, re-enacted in the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978. The current law is contained within part XI of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • For an individual to be eligible for a redundancy payment certain criteria must be satisfied. (See The right to payment)
  • Statutory redundancy payments are calculated by reference to a statutory formula. (See Calculating a statutory redundancy payment)
  • Making enhanced redundancy payments will not be unlawful under the age discrimination legislation provided that the scheme mirrors the statutory redundancy scheme. (See Enhanced redundancy payments)
  • An employee may lose his or her right to a redundancy payment in certain circumstances. (See Exclusions from redundancy payments)
  • Even if an employer is under no duty to consult collectively, an employee dismissed by reason of redundancy might claim that the dismissal is unfair if appropriate selection and consultation procedures have not been followed. (See Individual selection and consultation)
  • Depending on how many employees are to be made redundant, an employer may be under a statutory duty to consult collectively with representatives. (See Collective consultation)
  • Employees who are laid off or on short time may also be entitled to claim a redundancy payment. (See Lay-off and short-time working)

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