Can you be made redundant if your job still exists

9 February 2021

When you’re made redundant it isn’t easy, especially if you have a family that you support and you need to ensure your rent, mortgage and bills are still paid. While there can be a lot of reasons for legitimate redundancy, it’s important to know about the redundancy process so you can determine whether you, or someone you know, has been the victim of unfair redundancy.

If you do feel that either your, or a friend or family member, has been victim to unfair redundancy, you should seek professional advice as soon as you can. Here at Redkite Solicitors, our dedicated employment law team are on hand to advise you further once we have discussed your case.

Can my employer make me redundant when my role still exists?

Although there are many reasons for legitimate redundancy, it’s illegal for you to be made redundant whilst your job still exists. Therefore, if you think someone else has taken your job after you’ve been made redundant, seek professional advice immediately.

Redundancy is only permissible if there isn’t a legitimate need for that role to exist, which is why it may be an unfair dismissal if you believe someone else has taken your job after you were made redundant from it. If you have had this happen to you or someone you know, we recommend you seek advice from either ourselves or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

What are the main reasons for being made redundant?

The most commonly cited reasons for employers making your role redundant is:

– The role you were employed to do doesn’t exist anymore;

– The company you work for is cutting back on costs and has therefore deemed your position to be redundant;

– The company you work for has ceased trading or is closing down;

– Developments in new technology mean you are not required any longer for the role.

Please note: this isn’t an exhaustive list for redundancy. If your employer has given a different reason for your redundancy and you feel it may be unfair, please contact us so we can advise you further.

What are my rights if I have been made redundant?

There are plenty of employment law rights for employees in the UK who are facing redundancy.   These rules and rights try to ensure that you receive fair treatment by your employer with regard to redundancy pay, and any offer of suitable alternative employment within the company.

Do I have an entitlement to redundancy pay?

As long as you have worked for your employer for two or more years, you should be offered:

– Half a week of pay for every year you worked there whilst under the age of 22

 

– One week of full pay for every year you worked there between the ages of 22 and 40

 

– One and a half weeks of full pay for every year you worked there after the age of 41.

 

The only circumstances where you will not be offered redundancy pay when you have been working for your employer for more than two years, is if you are offered suitable alternative employment which you reject without providing a legitimate reason. However, there are conditions that need to be met for the new role you are offered to be considered suitable alternative employment.

We recommend you speak to a member of our employment law team if you feel the amount of redundancy pay you have been offered doesn’t correlate to your length of service at the company.

Can my employer offer me a different job within the company?

Although the role you currently do has been deemed redundant, your employer might be able to offer you a different role within the company which may be suited to you. This is because the role you were previously doing may no longer be required, but a different type of work is. We call this ‘suitable alternative employment’.

The alternative role must be one that you are able to do however, and this means your employer can’t offer you a completely different role that you aren’t qualified or suited to do, and then claim that they’ve offered you suitable alternative employment.

The following factors determine whether you can be offered the new role:

– Whether the new role has similarities to your previous role

– Whether your current experience and skills can be translated to the new role

-The terms of the job being offered

– the pay (including benefits), status, hours and location

As long as the role you have been offered meets these criteria, you could move into a different job in the same company. However, you might not want to move into the different role for a variety of reasons such as the pay, working hours not being suitable, or a change in location.

If you feel that your employer has offered you a role that you aren’t suited to, which for example may require a different skill-set to your previous role, contact us for expert advice. Your employer offering an unsuitable new role cannot be used as grounds for not paying you redundancy pay.

Will I have to work a notice period if I’m made redundant?

You may still be asked to work a notice period if you have been made redundant, which you will be paid for as you would with a notice period you serve when you choose to leave your job. The length of your notice period will be determined by the length of time you have worked for the company, as well as what is in your Contract of Employment.

Statutory redundancy periods can be:

– At least one week’s notice for employment between one month and two years

– One week’s notice for every year you have been employed between two and 12 years

– 12 weeks’ notice if you have been employed for 12 years or longer

If you have any questions about the notice period you have been asked to work after being made redundant, we’ll be happy to help.

How quickly can I start at a new company after being made redundant?

The majority of employers don’t have any controls about how soon you are able to start a new job after they have made you redundant, which means you’re able to accept a new job as soon as you’re comfortable or able to.

However, certain types of employers will specify in the contract a certain period of time you’re not allowed to start a new job after being made redundant. This mainly occurs in sectors where the knowledge you have of the company you have just been redundant from may benefit a competing company, for example in the finance sector. In this case, you would have to wait the stipulated length of time before you are able to find new employment.

If you or someone you know has been made redundant and you’re not sure of any of the following, give us a call now and our friendly and supportive team will provide you with confidential legal advice.

We can help you if:

– You’re not sure whether you have been made redundant unfairly

– You haven’t been offered the correct amount of redundancy pay

– You haven’t been offered a suitable alternative role, but your employer is claiming they have offered you suitable alternative employment which you have rejected

– You have questions about the notice period you’ve been asked to work

– You have questions over the stipulation that you can’t work for a certain period of time after being made redundant.

Feel free to contact the Employment Team if you have any employment issues.

 

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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