Redundancy   An information guide

Redundancy
An information guide
Compiled May 2011
www.hertspartsft.nhs.uk
Contents
Section One
 Foreword
Section Two
 Being made redundant
 Leaving your job
 Making a claim for benefits
Section Three
 Things that may help you cope with redundancy
Section Four
 Useful contacts
 Sources
www.hertspartsft.nhs.uk
Section One
Foreword
This guide has been compiled as an aid for people who may be
redundant. Any organisations mentioned in this guide are not endorsed
by Hertfordshire County Council, Work Solutions, Hertfordshire
Partnership NHS Foundation Trust or the Enhanced Primary Mental
Health Service.
It is not a comprehensive guide and there may be alternative support /
organisations and information which are not mentioned within.
The purpose of this leaflet is to simply provide information which may be
of assistance to you.
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Section 2
Being made redundant
Facing the possibility of redundancy can be an extremely stressful and anxious time
but there is support available. If you are going to be made redundant from your job,
you should be treated fairly by your employer. There are certain steps your employer
is expected to follow.
What is redundancy?
Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job, caused by your employer needing
to reduce the workforce. Reasons could include:
 New technology or a new system has made your job unnecessary
 The job you were hired for no longer exists
 The need to cut costs means staff numbers must be reduced
 The business is closing down or moving
 If your employer is making less than 20 employees redundant in one
establishment it is an individual consultation.
 If your employer is making 20 or more employees redundant in one
establishment within a 90 day period it is a collective redundancy.
 Collective redundancies generally occur when there is a:
 Business or building closure, meaning your employer no longer needs
as many employees
 Reorganisation or reallocation of work
There is a range of support available to help you cope with redundancy.
How should my employer be selecting employees for redundancy?
Ideally, your employer should consult affected employees over this issue. The
redundancy selection criteria arrived at should be objective wherever possible,
precisely defined and capable of being applied in an independent way. This is to
ensure that the process is conducted fairly. The chosen criteria should be
consistently applied by all employers, irrespective of size. There should also be an
appeals procedure.
Examples of such criteria:
 Attendance record (if this is fully accurate and reasons for and extent
of absence are known)
 Disciplinary record (if this is fully accurate)
 Skills or experience
 Standard of work performance
 Aptitude for work
 Formal qualifications and advanced skills should be considered, but
not in isolation.
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When are redundancies 'unfair'?
Your employer cannot select people for redundancy based on the following grounds:
Gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion or belief, age,
trade union membership, health and safety activities, working pattern (eg part-time
or fixed-term employees) If your employer does select you for redundancy based on
one of these grounds, then your redundancy becomes an automatic unfair dismissal.
You will be found to have been unfairly dismissed if you were unfairly selected for
redundancy:
 For asserting a statutory employment right
 On parental leave / working parents or maternity-related grounds
 Because you work part-time
 Because you are a fixed-term worker
 For exercising or seeking to exercise the right to be accompanied at a
disciplinary or grievance hearing.
 Requesting flexible working arrangements
 For a reason relating to rights under the Working Time Regulations
1998
 For a reason relating to rights under the National Minimum Wage Act
1998
 For a reason relating to the Tax Credits Act 2002
 For whistleblowing
 For participation in trade union activities, for membership or nonmembership of a trade union and in respect of trade union recognition
or de-recognition
 For carrying out duties as an employee representative or candidate for
election for purposes of consultation on redundancies or business
transfers
 For taking part in an election of an employee representative for
collective redundancy purposes
 For taking action on health and safety grounds as a designated or
recognised health and safety representative, or as an employee in
particular circumstances
 For taking part (or proposing to take part) in consultation on specified
health and safety matters or taking part in elections for representatives
of employee safety
 For taking lawfully organised industrial action lasting twelve weeks or
less (or more than twelve weeks in certain circumstances)
 For refusing or proposing to refuse to do shop work or betting work on
Sundays (England and Wales only)
 For performing or proposing to perform the duties of an occupational
pension scheme trustee
 For performing or proposing to perform the duties of a workforce
representative for the purposes of the Transnational Information and
Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999 or if the selection criteria
employed were deemed to be discriminatory under any of those
grounds prohibited by law.
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Your employer should use a fair and objective way of selecting people to make
redundant. This means that it should be based on some evidence, rather than your
employer just deciding who they want to give notice to.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly you should seek advice from an
organisation such as ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) or the
Citizens Advice Bureau. Methods of selection
If a method for deciding redundancies has been agreed with a trade union, your
employer should follow it. Otherwise, there are some common approaches your
employer could use and combine when selecting employees for redundancy.
In some cases there may be no need for your employer to follow a selection process
because the group of employees to be made redundant will be clear. For example, if
your employer is closing down a particular operation in a company and will have to
make all the employees working there redundant.
Selection pools
One method your employer could use is to consider which group or section of the
workforce the redundancies will be selected from. This is called the ‘selection pool’.
After identifying the selection pool, the employer should apply selection criteria to it,
to narrow down the employees. Your employer should, as far as possible, use
objective selection criteria that can be applied equally and fairly across the
workforce.
Should my employer help me to find other work?
In addition to allowing time off to look for new work or for training, it is good practice
for employers to give redundant employees as much information as possible to help
them at this difficult period of their working lives. Such information may include:
The financial effects of redundancy on the individual (redundancy pay, pension
payments and state benefits)
How to complete application forms and present themselves at job interviews
The importance of discussing the implications of redundancy with their family as
early as possible
How to search for appropriate vacancies in the press and follow up opportunities
The importance of being prepared to consider a wide range of alternative jobs
In addition, where resources permit, your employer may offer with individual
counselling, ideally before redundancies take effect. This would ideally be with a
trained counsellor or welfare officer to carry out the interviews, but where that is not
practicable, HR managers may be given appropriate training for the task. Where
possible, some support and advice should remain available to redundant employees
after their dismissals.
What information must my employer disclose about proposed redundancies?
To ensure employee representatives can play a useful part in the consultation
process over proposed redundancies your employer must disclose certain
information in writing including:
Reasons for the proposed redundancies
Numbers and descriptions of employees affected
Proposed method of selecting the employees who may be dismissed
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Proposed method of carrying out the dismissals, taking account of any agreed
procedure, including the period over which the dismissals are to take effect
How redundancy payments, other than the legal minimum, will be calculated.
What if my employer fails to consult about proposed redundancies?
In cases where employers have failed to consult with employee representatives over
proposed redundancies an employment tribunal can make a 'protective award'. The
employer is required to pay employees covered by a protective award their normal
week's pay for each week of a specified period, known as the protected period,
regardless of whether or not they are still working. To be covered by an award, you
must:
 Belong to a group specified in the award
 Be someone your employer plans to dismiss or has already dismissed
as redundant
 Be someone for whom your employer has failed to comply with the
information and consultation requirements.
What is redundancy pay?
You have the right to a lump sum 'redundancy payment' if you are dismissed
because of redundancy. The amount is related to your age, length of continuous
service with the employer, and weekly pay up to a maximum. The employer must
also provide you with a written statement showing how the payment has been
calculated at or before the time it is paid.
Any dispute about whether a redundancy payment is due, or about its size, should
be resolved within the organisation, if at all possible. Failing this, and as a last resort,
it can be determined by an employment tribunal. If your employer has cash-flow
problems so serious that making the redundancy payment would put the future of
the business at serious risk, the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) can arrange
to pay you direct from the National Insurance Fund. If your employer is insolvent, the
RPS makes the payment and the debt is recovered from the assets of the business.
You may also be entitled to redundancy pay. Direct.gov has a redundancy calculator
you can use online to work out how much redundancy pay you are entitled to.
Redundancy notice periods
If your employer has selected you for redundancy you must be given a notice period
before your employment ends. The statutory redundancy notice periods are:
 at least one week’s notice if you have been employed between one
month and two years
 one week’s notice for each year if employed between two and 12 years
 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more

However, you should also check your contract of employment because your
employer could have set out longer notice periods
Payment in lieu of notice
In some cases your employer may have included a payment in lieu of notice clause
in your employment contract. This means that your employer can end your
employment contract with no notice, however they must give you payment for all of
the pay you would have received during the notice period. This covers basic pay and
may include other matters such as the equivalent amount of pension contribution or
private health care insurance
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These notice periods were accurate at the time of making this guide, up to date
information is available on the direct.gov and acas.org.uk websites.
Community Legal Advice
Community Legal Advice can provide free help and advice on what your rights are
when you are made redundant. (CLA) is a free and confidential advice service in
England and Wales paid for by legal aid.
If you are living on a low income or benefits, you may be eligible for free specialist
advice from legal advisers on issues including: benefits and tax credits, debt,
education, housing, employment and family problems. The advice is independent
and confidential. Community Legal Advice will ask you questions about your problem
and find out what help you need. You will be asked a number of questions about
your finances to see if you are eligible for legal aid.
Telephone: 0845 345 4345 or email: [email protected]
Insolvency Service
The Insolvency Service is an executive agency of the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills (BIS). It deals with insolvency matters in England and Wales
and some limited insolvency matters in Scotland by administering and investigating
the affairs of bankrupts, companies and partnerships wound up by the court and
establishing why they became insolvent. It also assesses and pays statutory
entitlement to redundancy where an employer cannot or will not pay its employees
and provides information on insolvency and redundancy.
Telephone: 0845 602 9848
Email: [email protected]
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Leaving your job
On your last day at work you should receive all the wages you are entitled to, plus
payment for any outstanding period of notice that you have not worked. You should
receive:

accrued holiday pay (payment for holiday owed which has not been taken)

Income Tax form P45

redundancy pay

a letter stating the date of redundancy
How your retirement might be affected
If you are worried or have questions about how saving for your retirement might be
affected by redundancy, you can contact the Pensions Advisory Service. It is an
independent not-for-profit organisation that provides free information and guidance.
The service can also help you if you have a problem, complaint or dispute with your
occupational or private pension provider.
Finding work and redeployment
If you need to find work with a new employer, we have put together another guide
which contains practical tips and advice on finding a job, please ask your contact for
a copy of this guide which is called ‘Preparing for employment’
Offers of alternative employment
Your employer may offer you a different job. Find out about the different processes
associated with each and how you can get help. If your employer is making you
redundant, where possible they should try to offer you 'suitable alternative
employment' within their organisation or an associated company.
Whether a job is 'suitable alternative employment' depends on several things
including:
 How close the work is to your current job
 The terms of the job being offered
 Your skills, abilities and circumstances in relation to the job
 The pay (including benefits), status, hours and location of the job
 If you are being made redundant because there is not enough work, it
might be that work picks up again before your redundancy. Your
employer can offer you your own job back as 'suitable alternative work
 Any offer for alternative employment should be made before your old
job ends. You should be given enough information about what the new
job involves so you know how different it is from your old job
 During your redundancy period, you should be told about available job
vacancies within the company
 If your employer has suitable alternative employment but does not offer
it to you, your redundancy could be an automatically unfair dismissal.
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Trial periods
If your employer offers you alternative employment you have the right to a four-week
trial period. This period is to help you decide if the job is suitable alternative
employment, and for your employer to decide if you are suitable. If you need training
for the new job, the four-week period can be extended with written agreement.
If you decide the new job isn't suitable, you should tell your employer during the trial
period. This will not affect your employment rights, including your right to Statutory
Redundancy Pay.
If you haven't given notice by the end of the trial period your right to Statutory
Redundancy Pay ends.
If you refuse an offer
If your employer offers you suitable alternative employment and you unreasonably
refuse it, you may lose your right to Statutory Redundancy Pay.
Disputes about whether employment is suitable or whether your refusal is
unreasonable, can be decided by an Employment Tribunal. They can decide
whether you are entitled to redundancy pay.
Starting a new job before your notice has expired
If your new job starts before your redundancy notice expires, try to negotiate with
your employer for early release without losing your redundancy pay. Employers are
often happy to make these arrangements.
If your employer doesn't agree to let you go early you should give them 'a written
counter notice' stating when you would like to finish. Your employer should write
back to you and say whether or not you can leave early.
If you leave early without your employer's permission you run the risk of losing some
or all of your redundancy pay. Normally this only becomes an issue if your employer
has given you a longer redundancy notice period than the statutory minimum.
If you have a problem, try talking to your employer first. An employee representative
(eg a trade union official), may be able to help. If this doesn't work, you may need to
make a complaint using your employer's internal grievance procedure. Acas (the
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) offers free, confidential and impartial
advice on all employment rights issues. You can speak to them if you are unsure
about your rights.
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Making a claim for Benefits
As part of your benefit claim, you may be asked about any redundancy payments
you have had from your employer. Your Jobcentre Plus adviser will explain whether
these payments will have any effect on your claim.
You or your partner may get a payment from your employer when your job ends, eg
final pay, wages if you worked a week in hand, holiday pay. These payments are not
taken into account when considering your claim. You can use the jobcentre plus
online benefits adviser to help you find out which benefits you are entitled to.
It is important to make a claim straight away. Do not go into your local Jobcentre
to do this – you will only be sent away!!
To make a benefit claim, you have 2 options:
1. Call the Contact Centre on 0800 055 66 88
Text phone: 0800 023 48 88 if you are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech
difficulties.
Calls to 0800 numbers are free from BT landlines. Charges for calls from mobile
phones, cable and other network providers may be different.
Phone lines are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
The operator will book a time to call you back and this follow-up call will take about
40 minutes. You should call from home, if possible; or from somewhere where you
are comfortable and where other people cannot overhear your personal information.
During the call you will be asked to provide information including:
 Your National Insurance number
 Your Bank details
 Details of your rent or mortgage
 Details of your past or present employment and
 Details of other income and savings.
Please make sure that you have this information to hand when you call.
The operator will tell you what will happen next with your claim. If claiming
Jobseeker’s Allowance they will book you an appointment to see an adviser at your
nearest Jobcentre Plus office to help with your search for work. They can also tell
you who to contact if you have a question about your benefit
We can only accept calls from the person who is making the claim, unless you have
made previous arrangements with jobcentre for someone to act on your behalf.
2. Go to the website and claim online
Go to http://www.direct.gov.ukfollow “do it online”, go to “money, tax and benefits
online” and then under “working age benefits” apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance
If you claim online, the contact centre will call you back to confirm that your claim
has been received and they will book an appointment to see an adviser at your
nearest Jobcentre Plus office.
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Section 3
Things that may help you cope with redundancy
Prioritise personal development
For many people it is important to keep busy, this period of time may afford you the
opportunity to update or to develop new skills. If you are interested in pursuing
formal or informal learning ask your contact for a copy of our guide called ‘Thinking
about education and training’.
Be open to learning job seeking skills
For many people trying to secure employment can be a daunting prospect and for
some it has been a while since they have looked for work. Preparation is key to
success there are many great guides on how to present yourself well in person and
in writing. These will help ensure that you have a good quality CV, are able to
complete good quality application forms with covering letters, which will lead to
interviews and an opportunity to present yourself in person. All of these stages are
important and everyone can learn how to do these better.
There are also a range of local service providers that may be able to provide you
with specialist support. If you would like additional support speak to your contact
about how you may access these services or ask for a copy of our guide ‘Preparing
for employment’.
Begin budgeting
Any loss or reduction in household income can put a additional strain on day to day
life, taking practical steps to economise will help minimise the effect this can have on
you and will help not only financially but also your general wellbeing. If you would
like help and advice on managing your finances ask your contact for our guide on
where to get help and advice on finance and benefits
The following are easily said but no less valid as research shows that people that do
this are more likely to keep well and find work sooner:







Allow yourself time to grieve
See redundancy as a positive opportunity for change
Use the tools you have learned from your health professional to help
you through difficult thoughts and feelings
Look after yourself, keep fit and watch your health
Keep busy and have fun
Be social and get out of the house
Consider volunteering, if you are interested in this ask your contact for
a copy of our guide ‘Thinking of volunteering’.
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Section 4
Useful Contacts
Jobcentre Plus
Jobseeker Direct
www.direct.gov.uk
0845 606 0234
0845 605 5255 (Text phone)
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration
Service (ACAS)
www.acas.org.uk
08457 47 4747
08456 06 1600 (Text phone)
Career information, advice and guidance
for young people and adults
www.connexions.gov.uk
080 800 132 19
Citizens Advice Bureau
www.adviceguide.org.uk
European Employment Services (EURES)
EURES Adviser
www.eures.europa.eu
0113 307 8094
Learn Direct
www.learndirect.co.uk
Course and Centre Information
0800 101 901
Training Advice
0800 100 900
Skills Funding Agency
www.skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk
0870 900 6800
Next Step
www.nextstep.org.uk
0800 931 700
Redundancy Payments Helpline or
Dept. of Trade & Industry
0845 145 0004
www.dti.gov.uk
Tax Credits Helpline
www.hmrc.gov.uk
0845 300 3900
The Insolvency Service
www.insolvency.gov.uk
The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS)
www.pensionadvisoryservice.org.uk
0845 601 2923
The Pension Service (to request a Pension www.direct.gov.uk
Forecast)
0845 60 60265
Train to Gain
www.traintogain.gov.uk
0845 6009006
Voluntary work (Hertfordshire)
www.volunteeringherts.org
Kickstart Trust(Bishop’s Stortford)Ltd
www.stortfordkickstart.org.uk
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Sources
www.direct.gov
www.acas.org.uk
http://www.hertsdirect.org
Jobcentre Plus
www.hertspartsft.nhs.uk
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