Are you at risk of redundancy?  Things to consider…

It has today been reported by the BBC that Travis Perkins, one of the UK’s largest builders merchants, is closing 30 branches meaning 600 jobs will be at risk of redundancy.

Travis Perkins have reported that profits are lower than expected this year due to weak sales and that it was taking steps due to an uncertain UK outlook for next year.

The possibility of redundancies are becoming an increasing reality for many businesses as they consider reducing costs or moving their sites abroad due to the current climate and post-Brexit uncertainty.

If you have been put at risk of redundancy, it is important to be aware of your employment rights and understand the process an employer should take as part of any redundancy consultation process.

The definition of redundancy is defined in the Employment Rights Act and includes the following scenarios:

  • A business closure
  • A workplace closure
  • A reduced requirement for employees to carry out a particular kind of work or a particular kind of work in the place where the employee is employed

If you are informed you are at risk of redundancy, you should be mindful of the following:

  1. The right not to be unfairly dismissed if you have over two years continuous service – Your employer must follow a fair process before making the decision to dismiss
  2. A right to take time away from work to look for new employment or arrange training if you have accrued two years continuous service
  3. A right to receive a Statutory Redundancy Payment where you have two years service. You should also check to see whether there is an entitlement to a contractual redundancy payment
  4. You may have a claim if you believe the reason for your dismissal is connected to a protected characteristic (age, sex, race, disability, religion or belief, pregnancy, maternity or sexual orientation) or because you have raised whistleblowing complaints (for example complaints in relation to health and safety or criminal activity). These types of claims may not be subject to you having two years service
  5. A right to your contractual notice period set out in your contract of employment. If there is no notice period stated in your contract, you will be entitled to Statutory Minimum Notice.  If the contractual notice period is less than the statutory, the statutory will prevail.

If you are offered a settlement agreement to agree the termination of your employment due to a redundancy situation, you should take advice as soon as possible to ensure you know all your options and if you decide to enter into such an agreement, to ensure you get the best possible settlement to protect your position going forward.  A settlement agreement is not legally binding without an employee receiving independent legal advice on its terms.  For more information, please see our Guide to Settlement Agreements.

If you are put at risk of redundancy, it is important to take legal advice as soon as possible to understand your options.  In the event that you believe your employer has not followed a fair procedure before making a decision to dismiss you due to redundancy, we can advise you on any claims you may have.  It is important to note that there are strict time limits to bring claims in the Employment Tribunal so it is important to seek advice as soon as possible. If you require any advice on redundancies, please contact our specialist employment team by calling 0845 287 0939 or complete our online enquiry form.