I have been told I’m at risk of redundancy and have been placed in a redundancy pool. What does this mean and what will happen next?
The ‘pool’ is those staff at risk of losing their jobs. The staff who are to be made redundant will be selected from this pool. Your employer should follow a fair redundancy procedure by setting a fair, measurable and transparent criteria. Staff are then scored against this criteria.
My employer says I am in a pool of 1, so I think it’s certain I will be made redundant. Can they do this?
Yes, but it is likely to be unfair unless your job really is unique and cannot be compared to anyone else’s. If there are people doing the same or a similar job to you (regardless of job title), you can argue that they should be in the pool too.
I am pregnant, not yet on maternity leave, and have been told I am being made redundant. Can they do this?
Yes, a woman can be made redundant while she is pregnant. However your employer should not take the fact that you are pregnant/planning to go on maternity into account when assessing you for redundancy. That would be pregnancy/maternity discrimination. Likewise, the selection criteria used should not disadvantage you. For example, if attendance or performance are part of the criteria, an adjustment should be made to account for any pregnancy related absences.
I am on maternity leave and have heard on the grapevine that a redundancy process has started at work. I have not been told about it formally, only through friends. What should I do?
Your employer should keep you informed of any consultation or risk of redundancy situation while you are on maternity leave in the same way as they consult and inform all other staff. If you are concerned that you are being left out of the loop you should ask your manager or HR to confirm what the situation is and ask that you be kept fully informed of developments. Failing to inform and consult a maternity leaver about redundancy may be pregnancy/maternity discrimination.
If you are selected for redundancy while on maternity leave, you are entitled to be offered any suitable alternative job available, in preference to other employees.
What payments am I entitled to on being made redundant?
You are entitled as a minimum to be paid your notice pay and, provided you have more than two years’ service with your employer, you are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.
Some employers offer occupational redundancy pay which is more than the statutory. If you have been told you are at risk of redundancy you can ask your union, manager or HR if there is an occupational redundancy pay scheme and what you are likely to receive.
The directgov website has a statutory redundancy calculator where you can check what you are entitled to.
I have been made redundant and think I should not have been chosen. What can I do?
You should appeal the redundancy decision if your employer offers an appeal process. In your appeal you should explain why you think the decision was unfair.
Occasionally an employer will call a dismissal a redundancy when it really isn’t that at all. If you are not sure, raise this point in your appeal. Ask your employer to confirm that there is to be a permanent reduction in headcount and to identify, precisely, the reasons for this.
If there are vacancies in your organization that you think are suitable for you, make this point in your appeal. Set out clearly, by reference to your old role, skills and experience, why the vacant role is suitable.
If you still think the process was unfair you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.
If you think you were chosen for a discriminatory reason, for example because you were pregnant, part-time, a woman etc, then you may also have a claim for discrimination.
The time limits for bringing a tribunal claim are short and strict. You must bring your unfair dismissal and/or discrimination claim within three months of the date of your dismissal. It may be earlier if the act of discrimination you are complaining about occurred before the dismissal. If you are not sure, err on the side of caution and put in your claim as soon as possible.