If your employer informs you that you are going to be laid off or made redundant, then it's important you know your rights.
If you have been employed with the same company for more than two years and are made redundant, then under the Employment Rights Act 1996 you are entitled to receive a payment from them.
The lump sum that you entitled to depends on your length of employment with the company and what salary you were receiving.
If your ex employer has become insolvent or does not have funds to pay you then you can apply to the Government for a payment from the National Insurance Fund.
When can companies make people redundant
Staff can only be made redundant if there is a genuine need for redundancy. Typically companies make staff redundant because they are going bankrupt or business is not good and they are cutting back on staff.
How do companies choose who will be made redundant
A formula is usually agreed between the company and unions as to how to choose people for redundancy. It must been fair and should not discriminate against particular people or groups.
If the procedure is not fair then a claim for unfair dismissal can be made against the company.
Employers can ask for volunteers who are willing to leave the company voluntarily. If you do take voluntary redundancy then you will still be entitled to a lump sum.
Procedure for making people redundant
Employers must follow a set procedure when making workers redundant.
They must notify you in writing telling you why you are being laid off and why you have been chosen.
They should hold a face to face meeting with you.
If you wish to appeal against your dismissal then they must hold a appeals meeting with you as well.
Notice of redundancy
Employees have the right to be notified that they are to be made redundant. The notice of redundancy period depends on length of service and can be from one week to twelve weeks.
Alternative jobs with the company
If alternative jobs exist within the company for which a employee who is going to be laid off is suitable then the job should be offered to them. If it is not then the employee can make a claim for unfair dismissal against the company
Looking for work
If you have been told that in the near future you are going to be laid off then your employer should allow you a certain amount of time to look for other jobs. You have the right to paid time off to look for alternative jobs.
Disputes over redundancy payments
If you disagree over the lump sum you are offered then you can appeal against the decision by taking the company to a Employment Tribunal. If it does get to this stage then it is advisable to seek professional legal advice from a solicitor.