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Covid-19: what are my redundancy rights?

Covid-19: what are my redundancy rights?
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You have redundancy rights if you’ve been made redundant during the Covid-19 pandemic. But how do you figure out what rights you have, and where can you turn for help? Well, employment law is a little complicated, but here’s a rundown of what you should know.  

What redundancy means

Redundancy means your employer doesn’t need you to do the job you’re paid to do anymore. Usually, this is because the company is:

  • Moving location
  • Closing down 
  • Changing the type of work they do 

In other words, companies make people redundant when they’re reducing their workforce. 

Your redundancy rights

The redundancy rights you have depend on how long you’ve worked for your employer. 

  • Everyone has the right to fair notice, and fair treatment while they’re furloughed
  • If you’ve worked at the company continuously for two or more years, you have extra rights. 

Let’s break these rights down.

1. Fair notice 

No matter how long you’ve worked for your employer, you’re entitled to ‘fair notice’ of redundancy. What’s ‘fair’ comes down to how long you’ve worked for the company, but it’s somewhere between one and 12 weeks’ notice. 

Time you’ve worked for your employer Notice period you’re entitled to
One month to two years One week
Two years to 12 years One week for every year worked
12+ years 12 weeks

Your employer might give you more notice than this, but they can’t give you less than you’re entitled to. 

What’s more, your employer needs to follow proper procedures if they’re making more than 20 people redundant at one time. 

  • 20 or more people: collective consultation should begin at least 30 days before anyone’s job ends. 
  • 100+ people: consultations should begin at least 45 days before anyone loses their job. 

Even if the company goes bust, your redundancy rights still include fair notice. 

2. Equal treatment

If the company’s shutting down, then everyone loses their job. However, if the company’s choosing people for redundancy, they must select you in a fair way.

For example, they can’t choose you based on gender, age, marital status or sexual orientation. If you feel like you’ve been selected for redundancy unfairly, contact Acas for further advice. 

3. Redundancy while on furlough 

Even if you’re furloughed, your employer can still make you redundant. However, you still have redundancy rights and your employer must follow certain rules.

In other words, your employer can’t give you less redundancy pay just because you’ve been furloughed as a result of the pandemic.  

3. Redundancy pay

Have you worked for your employer for two years or more? Then you could get redundancy pay

There’s a statutory minimum you’re entitled to, based on your age and years of service. 

Age Redundancy pay entitlement
Under 22 Half a week’s pay for each year worked
22 to 41 A full week’s pay for each year worked
41+ 1.5 weeks’ pay for each year worked

You might get paid more if it’s in your contract.

One final thing about redundancy pay: do you still have holidays left? Your employer should either pay you for these days or let you take the time off. 

4. Time off 

If you’ve been with the same company for two years or more, your redundancy rights include some paid time off to find a new job. No matter how much time you take off, though, your employer only needs to pay you 40% of a single week’s pay.

For example, say you work five days a week. If you take three days off to look for work, you’re only paid for two days, or 40% of the working week. If you want another week off to find work, you won’t get paid because you’ve used up your paid entitlement. 

Redundancy rights: takeaway

If you’ve lost your job during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s really important that you understand your redundancy rights. Always contact Acas or Citizens Advice if you need more information or you’re worried that your employer hasn’t treated you fairly.

Depending on your circumstances, you could be eligible for benefits like Universal Credit, so don’t forget to check out your support entitlement, too.

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