Redundancy is a particularly complex area of employment law, meaning the margin for error is high. How do you turn your plans into a functioning process that doesn’t expose you to future Employment Tribunals?
From determining whether your organisation is in a genuine redundancy situation to understanding redundancy pay and settlement agreements, support from named experts will help you to transform complex legislation into a series of manageable steps.
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How we help
Advice, guidance and reassurance
Whether you’re looking at single redundancies or collective consultation, navigate the process as painlessly as possible and limit the potential for claims with our end-to-end redundancy support.
From step-by-step Employment Law advice to bespoke HR Consultancy support tailored to the needs of your business, our highly-qualified experts can help you to make necessary business decisions confidently and compliantly. No guesswork, no unnecessary pressure on those involved.
- Navigate the process smoothly with guidance from dedicated Employment Law specialists
- Unlimited, fixed-fee, 24/7 support for business owners, HR teams and managers
- Save time with bespoke document drafting – at-risk letters, meeting invites, dismissal letters and more
- Additional specialist HR support with consultation meetings to take the pressure off
- Optional Legal Expenses Insurance for added protection against claims
Redundancy and Restructuring | Process, People and Protecting Your Business
10-Step Guide to Redundancy
Example Redundancy Selection Matrix
Relieve pressure, reduce legal risk
Mismanaging the redundancy process – selecting employees for an unfair reason or overlooking certain procedural elements – can result in Employment Tribunal claims. You must also consult every step of the way, deal with queries and concerns, and be able to justify your decisions. Understandably, many employers don’t feel equipped to handle these situations without proper support.
Whether you need a dedicated Employment Law specialist to help you properly consider your proposals, craft legally-compliant documentation and guide you through the redundancy exercise, or more hand-holding HR Consultancy support, ranging from a review of your business case to full end-to-end project management, we can help. Protect against financial and reputational risk, relieve pressure on management time, and focus on your strategic vision with complete peace of mind.
If someone is made redundant, can they be replaced?
Employers should proceed with caution when considering replacing any staff who have been made redundant. After all, to make somebody redundant implies that their role was no longer required and deciding to hire somebody else in this position provides clear evidence that this was not the case. As such, the redundant employee could make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal.
How long after making someone redundant can you re-employ?
There is no set amount of time an employer must wait before recruiting again after redundancy. However, it’s important to keep in mind the legal risks – namely claims for unfair dismissal – if you hire somebody to do a job that has not long been made redundant. If there has been an unexpected change in circumstances, i.e. you’ve secured a new contract, it may be acceptable to recruit again – but, to be safe, you should make sure that the job spec is sufficiently different from the role you just made redundant. Of course, you could consider re-employing the individual(s) you have already made redundant and you would not necessarily have to wait any period of time before doing so.
Can employers claim back statutory redundancy pay?
Not usually. An employer could make an offer of re-employment conditional upon repayment of statutory redundancy pay but there would be little incentive for the former employee to accept that.
Can I make an apprentice redundant?
It depends. In England, if an apprentice is employed on an approved apprenticeship agreement or an apprenticeship agreement, then normal principles apply, and they can be made redundant like any other employee. This is the same for apprentices in Wales employed on apprenticeship agreements. However, apprentices in Scotland and those elsewhere who are employed on old-style, common-law apprenticeship agreements have additional safeguards not available to the rest of the workforce. They cannot be dismissed by reason of redundancy in the usual way, unless there is a closure of the business or the employer’s business undergoes a fundamental change in its character.
Can redundancy be withdrawn?
Once an employer has issued an employee with a notice of redundancy, it is legally binding. As such, it cannot be unilaterally withdrawn by the employer without the employee’s consent. However, if circumstances change and the redundancy is no longer necessary, it is possible to withdraw the redundancy notice while the employee is working their notice period, so long as they explicitly agree to this.
Can a pregnant woman be made redundant?
‘Pregnancy and maternity’ is one of nine protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Act 2010. Accordingly, employers must not subject employees to detrimental treatment as a result of them being pregnant, breastfeeding or haven recently given birth. While pregnant employees can be made redundant, employers must ensure that the reason for selecting a pregnant employee for redundancy is in no way connected to them being pregnant or suffering a pregnancy-related illness. This means developing and applying fair, objective, non-discriminatory scoring criteria. You must also include pregnant employees in the consultation process and properly consider suitable alternative employment.
How does redundancy pay work?
Those who have worked for you for two years or more will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. The amount they receive will depend on their age, pay and length of service. Those under 22 years of age are entitled to half a week’s pay for each full year’s service; 22 to 41-year-olds are entitled to one week’s pay for each full year, and those aged 41 or older are entitled to one and a half week’s pay for each full year. A week’s pay is capped at £525, with a maximum length of service of 20 years. Therefore, if an employee is made redundant after 6 April 2020, the maximum statutory redundancy pay they will receive is £15,750. An employee won’t be entitled to redundancy pay if they unreasonably refuse a reasonable offer of suitable alternative employment.
When does the redundancy notice period start?
The redundancy notice period will start once the employee is served with a notice of redundancy and given a finishing date. Employees who have been employed for at least one month but less than two years are entitled to a minimum of one week’s notice. Those with between two and 12 years’ service are entitled to one week’s notice for each year they have been employed, although some employees may have more generous notice requirements contained in their contract.
Can you provide support for redundancy consultation meetings?
Yes, if you’re not confident in chairing these meetings yourself or simply don’t have the time, our experienced HR Consultants can conduct your consultation meetings for you for extra peace of mind.
Explore our fixed-fee Employment Law support
Advice LineFast, pragmatic, commercial. Our Employment Law & HR advice line gives you and your managers access to truly unlimited advice on all of your people-related challenges, from the seemingly straightforward to the most complex.
What sorts of things can you advise on?
HR matters come with the territory when you run a business or manage an organisation and we’re here to help you through it all. Whether you’re battling absenteeism, struggling to manage an underperforming employee or need help navigating a complicated exercise like redundancy, we can walk you through the steps required to handle the situation appropriately.
Is everything dealt with through one team?
Yes. All of our advisers are qualified legal professionals or on the road to formal qualification, which means a full range of employee issues can be dealt with within your dedicated three-person team. In the event that you’re presented with an Employment Tribunal claim, we will conduct a full handover to our Litigation Team so that they are well equipped to defend you.
Why choose us?
Experts in Employment Law & HR
At WorkNest, we’re known for our bespoke service and the quality of our support. Not only is our expertise unmatched, but we take the time to know you so that we can function as a true extension of your team.
- Your own small team of dedicated experts
- Commercial, pragmatic advice tailored to you
- Bespoke contracts, policies and handbooks
- Trusted by over 35,000 organisations
- Recognised as a leading firm by the Legal 500
Who you’ll be working with
Legal Director – England & Wales
Principal Employment Law Adviser
Executive Director, Privacy International
WorkNest supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Head of Service Delivery, Catalyst Choice
We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Group HR Director, Culina Group
We moved our legal support to WorkNest (formerly Law at Work) having previously used a time and line law firm. It was important, though, that an all-inclusive fee structure did not come at the expense of quality. Thankfully we’ve been delighted with the service we’ve received from WorkNest.”
What we recognised in WorkNest is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety,
Bluestone National Park Resort
Chief Executive, The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT)
As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. WorkNest is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Operations Director, Beaverfit
Pineapple have worked with the team at WorkNest (formerly Law at Work) since 2003, and we have built a trusted partnership together. We particularly like WorkNest’s concise and practical advice concerning employment law/HR issues and also appreciate their totally supportive approach in all areas of health and safety.”
Pineapple Dance Studios
I’ve taken WorkNest into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
People Director, The Works
Latest news and insights
BLOG Written by Danielle Scott on 9 January 2023 If you’re dealing with an unexpected downturn in business, you may be contemplating redundancies to cut costs. While this might be the inevitable outcome, it’s important not to jump the gun, or to even assume that your situation meets the legal definition of redundancy without considering alternatives. Making staff redundant might not always be the best solution for your business. Not only can the process be costly and time-consuming, and often
BLOG Written by Danielle Scott on 9 January 2023 The UK economy is on course to shrink in 2023, forcing UK businesses to make some difficult decisions regarding their workforce. With labour costs accounting for as much as 70% of total business costs, many employers will be forced to reduce their headcount in an attempt to stay afloat. Redundancy is a particularly complex area of employment law, and those who find themselves facing a redundancy situation may be confused about the
BLOG Written on 11 August 2021 Despite being in its penultimate month, the fallout from the government’s furlough scheme is already playing out in Employment Tribunals. As well as cases of furlough fraud and employers misusing the scheme, we now have some insight into how a court will deal with employers who bypassed the scheme altogether and went down the redundancy route instead. The purpose of the furlough scheme, of course, was to save ‘viable’ jobs. When it was first introduced in