Understanding your Unfair Redundancy Claim

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the furlough scheme has been a lifeline for businesses and employees alike. However, the current furlough scheme is set to change. From 1st July 2020 you can only continue to be furloughed if you have previously been on furlough for at least 3 weeks. If you are made redundant, your redundancy pay is calculated using your earnings prior to furlough, meaning you are still entitled to your original, pre-Covid redundancy scheme.

As the furlough scheme is amended, redundancies are expected to grow and, alongside this could result in an increase in unfair redundancy claims. Unfair redundancy claims can lead to an employment tribunal. Naughton’s Solicitors are here to help you know whether your redundancy circumstances qualify for a claim and aid your understanding of your situation.

What is unfair dismissal

Unfair redundancies can be based in a variety of areas. Your employer has to follow procedurally fair steps to your redundancy, for example, by sending you a letter of intention. Company procedures are generally found in your employee handbook or discussed at your company induction.

As well as adhering to fair employment procedures, your employer must not discriminate on the grounds of the following as justification for making you redundant:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Genter
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Contract type
  • If you asked for flexible working
  • Membership to any trade unions

It is not classed as unfair dismissal if you have resigned by choice, however, a voluntary redundancy can still be classed as unfair.

Do you meet the requirements for an unfair redundancy claim?

If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed after two years of service, you may be eligible to make a claim. To take your redundancy case to a tribunal, you must be able to prove that you have suffered an unfair dismissal. Your redundancy is legitimate if it meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Your workplace closes
  2. Your workplace decided it needs fewer staff members
  3. Your workplace goes through a restructure and your post is no longer needed

Your employment tribunal will also investigate whether your employer:

  1. Tried to find any other suitable work for you
  2. Offered you other work and you were informed about the job
  3. Allowed you to apply for or take another job

The redundancy procedure is considered fair if your employer:

  1. Provided you adequate warning of what is happening
  2. Discussed with you why you are being selected for redundancy, and
  3. Considered alternative employment for you, if it is available

How to make an unfair redundancy claim

Once you have decided to make a claim, there is a restricted time limit on going to an employment tribunal. In order to make a claim, you have 6 months less 1 day to initiate the claim in the employment tribunal.

In order to issue an Employment Tribunal claim, you must first obtain an Early Conciliation Certificate from ACAS. You should contact an employment law solicitor as soon as possible and they can assist with the Early Conciliation Process. Your solicitor will help you build a strong case with your evidence, as it is the employee’s obligation to prove the redundancy was unfair.

At tribunal, it will be investigated whether:

  • Your company had a legitimate need to make redundancies
  • If a fair procedure was followed in selecting you and consulting you for your redundancy
  • Your company attempted to find you an alternative position within the company
  • Their decision to choose you for redundancy was fair.

What Next?

If your case advances to an employment tribunal, there are no Tribunal fees in the UK, and our team of solicitors can help you calculate how much compensation you may be entitled to if found unfairly made redundant.

During this time, extra tribunal staff are available to help conduct cases remotely, with hearings potentially taking place over the phone or online. Call our Employment Law team at 0191 500 6050 or fill out our contact form to discuss your options or begin your claim.
If you’re entitled to redundancy pay, it will be calculated using the amount you earned before you were furloughed. You can check how much redundancy pay you can get.

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