Where an employee has taken voluntary redundancy, is the employer prevented from re-employing them in the future?

No, there is no restriction on an employer re-employing an employee who has taken voluntary redundancy.

If the redundant employee is re-employed by the employer, they do not need to return any statutory redundancy payment, regardless of whether the offer of re-employment occurred immediately after their last day, or at some later date. However, receipt of a redundancy payment breaks continuity of service for the purposes of entitlement to further statutory redundancy pay in the future.

If the employee is offered re-employment prior to termination of employment taking effect, and the new job starts within four weeks of their last day of employment, the employee is not entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.

The employer should be cautious if there is no break in employment between the last day of employment and the employee recommencing work. This is likely to cast doubt over the genuineness of the redundancy and may cause HM Revenue and Customs to question the tax-free status of any redundancy payment.