A Conversation for Coping With Redundancy
Know Your Rights!
Pandapig Started conversation Jun 15, 2003
(For UK readers)
1) Make sure that your employer has a fair selection procedure for choosing who will be made redundant. If you have any reason for suspecting that you have been discriminated against in the selection procedure (sexual, racial, etc.), consult your trade union or a solicitor specialising in employment law immediately. The same applies if you suspect that you have been selected for personal reasons, e.g. bad relationship with your line manager. The employer has a legal obligation to show that their selection procedure was fair.
2) The employer must also consult in advance with employee(s) who they intend to make redundant, and/or their representatives. This is also a legal obligation, procedures vary according to the number of employee(s) to be made redundant. The employer must consider offering the employee alternative work under similar terms and conditions if it is available.
3) If it appears that your employer may not have complied with all the legal requirements for making you redundant, you may have a case for Wrongful Dismissal or Unfair Dismissal, which could lead to you being awarded a higher compensation payment than the redundancy payment on offer, if proved before an Employment Tribunal.
4) Your employer may ask you to sign a so-called 'Compromise Agreement' which essentially says "We (the employer) agree to pay out your redundancy money ASAP if you promise not to pursue any claims against us." DO NOT sign a 'Compromise Agreement' before consulting your union or solicitor. By refusing to sign you keep your options open and this may lead to an improved offer from your employer.
5) If you are even considering taking your employer to an Employment Tribunal, don't waste time. There is a time limit of 3 months for bringing claims and you will need time to prepare your case. When in doubt, consult a solicitor specialising in employment law - it nearly always saves you money in the long term. Many will take on these cases on a "No Win - No Fee" basis.
6) There are many websites offering free advice on UK redundancy law (and other employment law too). Get out there and use them!
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