R is for Redundancy

Date published: 20th January 2021


Your employer has to follow a fair redundancy process if you’ll have worked for them for at least 2 years by the time your job ends. You should be invited to at least 1 individual meeting with your employer to discuss redundancy.

Check your employer’s process

You might find your employer’s process in your contract of employment or staff handbook, or it might be a process used for previous redundancies. If your employer’s process isn’t written anywhere, they have to make sure you know what process they’re going to follow.

The process has to explain:

  • How they’ll choose people for redundancy
  • How long the decision will take
  • What meetings you can go to and when
  • How you can appeal if you’re chosen for redundancy

Meeting your employer to discuss redundancy

Your employer has to meet you individually at least once before they tell you their final redundancy decision.

At this meeting you should get to discuss:

  • Why they need to make redundancies
  • Why they’re considering you for redundancy
  • What other jobs are available
  • Any questions you have about what happens next

The meeting is a chance to explain why you shouldn’t be made redundant. Tell your employer if you don’t think they’re following their process properly or if they’ve chosen you unfairly.

It’s best to discuss unfairness immediately rather than waiting until your employer has made a final decision.

Your employer might let you bring someone with you to your redundancy meetings - for example someone from your union or HR. It can be helpful to have someone there to take notes and support you. If this isn’t mentioned in your redundancy process, ask your employer if you can bring someone.

If your employer doesn’t follow their process

Your redundancy could be unfair if your employer:

  • Doesn’t have a process
  • Doesn’t meet you individually
  • Only meets you to tell you they’re making you redundant
  • Has a process that doesn’t contain enough information
  • Has a process but doesn’t follow it - unless they have a good reason to do things differently

Who can get Statutory Redundancy Pay?

You should get statutory redundancy pay if you:

  • Have been employed by your employer for 2 years continuously.
  • Have lost your job because there was a genuine need to make redundancies in your workplace.
  • Are a particular kind of worker called an ‘employee’ - this includes part-time employees.

Who won’t receive Redundancy Pay?

You won’t get statutory redundancy pay if you:

  • Have worked in your job less than 2 years
  • Are self-employed
  • Are a police officer or in the armed forces
  • Are a Crown servant, parliamentary staff or holder of public office (for example, a Justice of the Peace)
  • Are a share fisherperson
  • Are domestic staff working for your immediate family
  • Are an employee of a foreign government

Even if you can’t get statutory redundancy pay, you might be able to get contractual redundancy pay. Make sure you check your contract of employment to see what it says about redundancy pay.

Your notice period during redundancy

If you’re made redundant, your job won’t end straight away - you’ll get a paid notice period.

You might get notice pay instead of your notice period - this is called ‘pay in lieu of notice’.

Your employer will tell you if they’ll give you pay in lieu of notice.

As long as you work your normal hours in your statutory notice period you’ll get your normal pay. This is as well as any redundancy pay you’re entitled to.

How long your notice period should be?

If you’ve worked for your employer for at least a month you’re entitled to statutory notice. This is the minimum notice period your employer can give you.

Your statutory notice depends on how many years you've worked for your employer when
You’re given notice.

Time with your employer Minimum notice
1 month to 2 years 1 week
2 years or more

1 week for each full your, up to a maximum of 12 weeks

For example, if you've worked for your employer for 5 years and 3 months you get 5 weeks notice

Contractual notice

Your contract might say what notice period you’re entitled to. If it does, this is called ‘contractual notice’. Contractual notice can be longer or the same as statutory notice. It can’t be shorter - you should always get at least your statutory notice.

How your employer should give you notice

Your employer should tell you about your notice period when they tell you they’re making you redundant. It’s better for them to do this in writing, but they don’t have to.

Your notice period only starts when your employer says you'll be made redundant and gives you a finishing date. Your notice period doesn’t start from when your employer says you’re at risk of redundancy.

If your employer says you don’t have to work your notice period

You’ll still get the same notice pay if your employer says you don’t have to work your notice period. You’ll also still get work benefits, for example pension contributions, unless your contract says your employer can leave them out. Not having to work your notice period could mean either:

  • you’re paid as usual until the end of your notice period, but you don’t have to come to work - this is called garden leave
  • you get all your notice pay at once and your job ends straight away - this is called pay in lieu of notice, or PILON.

If you get garden leave or pay in lieu of notice your employer will either tell you in person or put it in your redundancy letter. Talk to your employer or ACAS if you’re not sure which you have.

Holiday in your notice period

You can ask to take holiday during your notice period, but it’s up to your employer to decide if you can take it then. You’ll be paid for any holiday you have left over when you leave. If you do go on holiday in your notice period you’re entitled to your usual wage. If you get contractual holiday, you’ll need to check what your contract says about holiday.

If you have a problem with notice or pay

There are steps you can take to solve problems with notice or notice pay. It’s always best to start by talking to your employer.

If you need to take more formal action you might be able to make a claim in the employment tribunal if your employer:

  • Doesn’t pay you for your notice period
  • Tells you to leave straight away without pay in lieu of notice
  • Doesn’t pay you the right amount

It’s only worth starting legal action if you’ve tried everything else and if you’ve lost money. You’ll only be able to win money from a tribunal if you’ve lost money.

There’s a tight time limit if you want to make an employment tribunal claim, so contact ACAS for help as soon as you can.

There are 4 steps to solving problems with notice. These are the same steps your client can take to solve other employment problems. You can get more information on helping your client:

  • Negotiate with their employer
  • Raise a grievance, including sample letters
  • Start ACAS early conciliation
  • Take their employer to an employment tribunal

Where possible, it’s better to settle a claim than go to an employment tribunal. This can save your client the cost, stress and uncertainty of a tribunal claim.

If you decide to go to an employment tribunal you will need to make a claim for wrongful dismissal. This is a claim for breach of contract - it's different from unfair dismissal.

When you could lose your right to statutory redundancy pay

Even if you’re entitled to statutory redundancy pay, you could lose your right to it if you:
Turn down a suitable alternative job your employer offered you without a good reason
Want to leave before the job is due to end - for example, because you’ve found another job
Are fired for gross misconduct before your job finishes

How much statutory redundancy pay you can get?

You can see how much redundancy pay you'd get using the redundancy pay calculator on the GOV.UK website.

Redundancy pay is based on your earnings before tax (called gross pay).

For each full year you've worked for your employer, you get:

  • Up to age 22 - half a week's pay
  • Age 22 to 40 - 1 week's pay
  • Age 41 and older - 1.5 weeks' pay

If you turned 22 or 41 while working for your employer, the higher rates only apply for the full years you were over 22 or 41.

You won't pay any tax on your statutory redundancy pay.

There are some limits to how much money you’ll get:

  • The maximum weekly amount you can get is £538 - even if you earn more per week.
  • You can only get redundancy pay for a maximum of 20 years’ work (for example, if you’ve worked at your job for 23 years, you’ll only get redundancy pay for 20 years)

Check how long you’ve worked for your employer

The time you've worked for your employer is called your length of service. Work this out by counting the number of full years you've worked for your employer. Your length of service should start on your first day at work and finish on the day your employment ends.

You might be unsure what your length of service is if:

  • You weren't given the statutory notice period you were entitled to
  • You were given pay in lieu of notice

In these situations you can work out your length of service by adding on the amount of statutory notice you should have had. For example, if you were entitled to 4 weeks' statutory notice but your employer only gave 2 weeks, add another 2 weeks to get your end date. You can't add any extra notice your contract says you're entitled to.

Getting your redundancy pay

Your employer should pay you your redundancy pay on the date you leave work, or an agreed date soon after.

They’ll pay you in the same way they paid your wages, for example into your bank account.
You should also get a written statement saying how your payment was calculated.

If you don’t receive your redundancy pay

Your employer should pay your redundancy pay in the same way they paid your wages. If they don’t, you can take steps to get your pay.

If you need more help at any stage, contact ACAS.

Take the following steps:

Step 1: write your former employer a letter

Tell them what you’re entitled to and include any evidence you have to back up your argument.

Step 2: early conciliation

If you don’t get your payment after sending your letter, you need to contact ACAS.

ACAS provides independent support to help sort out employment disputes. They'll see if your employer will agree to a process called ‘early conciliation' - a way to resolve disputes without going to a tribunal.

The quickest way to start is to fill in the early conciliation form on the ACAS website. Or you can call the ACAS early conciliation team on 0300 123 1122.

Step 3: take your employer to a tribunal

Your last resort is to take your employer to a tribunal. Going to a tribunal can be expensive and stressful, so it’s a good idea to get advice from your local Citizens Advice or ACAS before you go ahead.

Your deadline for claiming any redundancy pay you’re owed is 6 months minus a day from the last day you were employed. If you’re also claiming for unfair dismissal or notice pay, then you have 3 months less a day.

Time limits for statutory redundancy pay tribunal claims

The time limit for making a claim for statutory redundancy pay is normally 6 months minus a day from the date your client's employment ended.

If your employer decides not to make you redundant

If your employer changes their mind after they've dismissed you, it's up to you if you want to stay.

If you agree to stay, your notice period will be cancelled and you can keep working for them. You won't get any redundancy pay.

If you don't agree to stay:

  • You can leave at the end of your notice period
  • Your notice period won't change

You might not get your agreed redundancy pay - it depends on what job they offer you or further information on anything to do with redundancy please see our website or contact ACAS on 0300 123 1122

Back to news