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Find out what your rights are if you are made redundant from your current role and how to stay positive about your future prospects.
The thought of losing your job is stressful at any time in your life, but as a dad, redundancy can seem a terrible prospect. When you have a family, any gap in salary can be serious, and if it could take you a few weeks or months to find a new role, that can have significant implications.
Yet the good news is that, for many dads, redundancy can bring new opportunity – whether it’s in escaping from a job that you’ve been stagnating in, or from a redundancy payment that actually acts as a windfall for your family.
If redundancy is on your horizon, it’s good to be informed about what to expect and the legal rights that you have as an employee.
There are a number of key rights that you might have on being made redundant:
You can’t be selected for redundancy for any reason connected with your age, gender, faith, family status or health. If you can demonstrate that this is the reason, you could have a case for unfair dismissal.
Common and fair methods that companies use for selecting people for redundancy are to choose the newest employees to have joined; to ask people to take voluntary redundancy, to look at disciplinary records or to examine appraisals, skills, experience or qualifications.
Often redundancies are the result of a restructure, where certain roles are no longer needed.
Any employee at risk of redundancy has the right to consultation. This is a conversation between you and your employer where they explain the reasons for the redundancy, why you have been selected and whether alternative roles are available.
If the company is making 20-99 redundancies the consultation must start at least 30 days before any dismissals take effect, and if there are more than 100 redundancies, consultations must start at least 45 days before.
Usually you’re entitled to redundancy pay if you’ve been with a company for two years or more. The basic rate is half a week’s pay for every full year of work where you’re under 22; a week’s pay for every year aged 22 to 41, and a week and a half’s pay for every year over the age of 41. Length of service is capped at 20 years.
You don’t pay any tax on redundancy pay up to a total of £30,000.
You won’t be entitled to redundancy pay if your employer offers you an alternative role – unless you have good reason to decline. An example of a suitable reason is where the alternative role is overseas.
Your employer must give you notice before your employment ends. If you’ve been employed for over 12 years, you’re entitled to 12 weeks’ notice; from 2-12 years of employment you should have a week’s notice for every year you’ve worked there. So, if you’ve been employed for five years, you should get at least five weeks’ notice. If you’ve been employed for under two years you’re entitled to a week’s notice.
In some situations, your employer may choose to pay you in place of notice, which means you leave immediately but are paid in full until the end of your notice period.
If you’ve worked for your employer for over two years you’re allowed a reasonable amount of time off to find another job, or to take training to help you find a new role. Bear in mind, though, that you are only paid up to 40% of one week’s pay, no matter how much time off you take.
While being made redundant can be unpleasant and difficult, most employers are understanding and considerate throughout the process. Do remember that redundancy is a business decision – it’s nothing personal. It often leads to a great new career move that will make you look back with positivity. For more information visit the Government website.