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Covid-19 Update

The welfare of our clients and staff is always a key priority for Raeside Chisholm. In light of the current circumstances, we are continuing to offer a full range of services, but we are working remotely. You can contact us on 0141 248 3456 and one our solicitors will call you back if necessary, or you can contact us by email.”

Raeside Chisholm Solicitors

The directors of Raeside Chisholm are experienced solicitors who enjoy a deserved reputation in Glasgow and beyond for personal attention allied to a commitment to outstanding levels of quality legal services. For enquiries, please contact us on 0141 248 3456.

Do you know your redundancy rights?

The coronavirus pandemic is having a major impact on the economy and labour market, with many businesses making redundancies to protect their long-term survival. Employers may feel under pressure to make quick decisions at this time, meaning they could fail to comply with their legal obligations during the redundancy process. As such, it is especially important that workers are aware of their redundancy rights.

In this article, we explain what rights you have if:

Please note this information is for guidance only. Every situation is different, so to receive legal advice for your particular circumstances, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our employment law solicitors.

What are my redundancy rights if I have been employed for less than two years?

All employees – regardless of how long they have been working for their employer – are entitled to the following:

A fair reason for redundancy

It will be automatically unfair if you are made redundant because you:

  • made a complaint about health and safety relating to your workplace;
  • reported your employer for illegal activity (known as whistleblowing);
  • requested to use one of your employment rights, e.g., maternity or annual leave;
  • work part-time hours or are on a fixed-term contract;
  • have been on jury service;
  • are a member of a trade union; or
  • refused to work on a Sunday if you are employed in a shop.

If one or more of the statements above applies to you, that does not mean you are protected from being made redundant in Scotland; instead, it means this should not be the reason why you are made redundant.

Protection from discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 sets out nine protected characteristics. If your employer makes you redundant based on any of these features, that is discrimination.

It may also be indirect discrimination if the basis of your employer’s redundancy decision impacts one group of people with a protected characteristic more than others. For example, if employees are chosen for redundancy based on the most time taken off, this may have a disproportionate effect on female workers (who tend to have more childcare responsibilities) and potentially disabled employees who have taken time off because of their disability.

Group consultation

If your employer is making 20 or more workers redundant (known as a collective redundancy), they must carry out a group consultation. The consultation occurs between you, your employer and recognised trade union or elected employee representatives, and covers issues such as the reason for the redundancies, how they are selecting employees to let go and the process they will follow.

What are my redundancy rights if I have been employed for more than two years?

In addition to the above, those who have been employed for more than two years have a higher level of protection and therefore, several extra redundancy rights, including:

A genuine redundancy

Your employer must have a legitimate business reason for making you redundant. This could be because the business is failing, your job is no longer required or your workplace is closing. There may be a reason to suspect it is not a genuine redundancy if, for example, your relationship with your employer has broken down or they have recently employed people to do the same work as you.

A fair redundancy process

Your employer must follow a fair process when making you redundant. Consultation is fundamental to this, so you must be invited to a one-to-one meeting to discuss your redundancy, in addition to a group consultation if it is a collective redundancy.

If your employer has a written procedure, you should be able to find this in your contract or staff handbook. Otherwise, they must explain to you what the process for your redundancy will be, including how workers will be chosen and how you can appeal your redundancy.

If your employer does not have a process or they fail to follow an established one (without good reason), your redundancy could be considered unfair.

Offered suitable alternative employment

Your employer must also try to find another job for you within the business, which does not have to be similar to your current role. The options for this should be explored at your individual redundancy meeting. You may be offered another job automatically or invited to apply – either way, you do not have to accept it or put yourself forward. You are also entitled to try an alternative job you have been offered for one month to decide if it is right for you. If your employer does not offer you alternative employment and has no good reason for this, your redundancy could be unfair.

Next steps

If you think your redundancy is unfair

It is a good idea to speak to your employer about your concerns as this can often help to resolve matters quickly and satisfactorily. However, if this fails, you should seek legal advice regarding your options.

Our employment lawyers can help. We will assess your situation and let you know if we think you could challenge your redundancy. If you have a strong case, we will set out the next steps clearly and represent you if you decide to take further action. In the first instance, this will involve attempting to negotiate a reasonable solution with your employer but failing that you may make a claim to an employment tribunal.

If you think your redundancy is fair

It is important to make sure you receive all your redundancy entitlements. If you have worked for your employer for less than two years, check that your paid notice period is correct. The details may be set out in your employment contract; if not, the statutory minimum of one week will apply.

If you have been employed for two years or more, your statutory notice period is one week for each full year you have worked for your employer (up to 12 weeks). You are also entitled to paid time off work to look for a new job and redundancy pay.

Furlough and redundancy pay

If you have been furloughed and are then made redundant, you must be given statutory notice and redundancy pay based on your normal wages, rather than the reduced furlough rate.

Contact our Redundancy Advice Solicitors in Glasgow

Even under normal circumstances, redundancy is a complicated area of law. If you suspect that your recent redundancy was unfair, it is vital you receive clear and tailored advice. For support from our redundancy lawyers, please call us on 0141 248 3456 today or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

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