Amazon has announced 1,200 roles are at risk of redundancy after revealing plans to close three UK warehouses.

The retail company announced recently that it plans to cut 18,000 jobs globally. Redundancies are expected and warehouses earmarked for closure are Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster, and Gourock in West Scotland. Amazon are however opening new sites in Peddimore, West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees over the next three years, creating new jobs.

Affected employees are expected to be offered the chance to transfer to another location; however, for some this may not be suitable alternative employment and there may be no way to avoid a redundancy. The warehouse closures come as part of a re-structure and evaluation of the Amazon network.

It was also reported a few days ago, that the GMB union said its members would stage the first ever strike at Amazon in the UK, understood to be taking place at its Coventry warehouse, in a dispute over pay. The union is seeking a pay increase to at least £15 an hour. Amazon warehouse employees are understood to be earning £11 per hour at present. The announcement has understandably had an unsettling effect on employees of Amazon as some are now left with an uncertain future at the company.

If you are an employee of Amazon affected by this announcement or if you are an employee requiring advice on striking and/or faced with the threat of redundancy, it is crucial that you understand your legal position and the options available to you.

In respect of redundancy; you should be aware of your entitlements, including notice pay and statutory redundancy pay; which should be stated in your written contract of employment. If you are unsure you should obtain the relevant documentation detailing your entitlements in such situations and the correct company procedures. The company may also have a contractual redundancy policy entitling you to enhanced payments.

You may also benefit from legal advice in respect of suitable alternative employment and your rights in respect of refusal of other roles and places of work.

In cases like this, where the company proposes to consult around 1,800 employees, collective consultation applies. Your employer has a series of set processes that it must adhere to. They are bound by law to follow these procedures including regarding fair selection and consultation.

Understanding your legal position and options at an early stage may give you scope to protect your position at work or to negotiate an increased redundancy package.

Farleys’ specialists in all areas of HR and employment law for all levels of employees.

If you require advice and assistance in relation to compulsory or voluntary redundancies; re-structures and re-organisations; striking, redundancy selection, redundancy consultations, variation of employment contracts; settlement (compromise) agreements and termination / severance packages, please contact Farleys’ Employment Law & HR team on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email by completing our online form.