Yesterday, Reuters described how workers from collapsed French car parts manufacturer New Fabris threatened to blow up their plant to increase redundancy payouts. This follows a series of "bossnappings" earlier this year when workers held company executives hostage in a bid for better compensation.
This being England, it simply wouldn't be cricket to do things like that. But, seriously, if you are made redundant you need to know your employee redundancy rights, make the most of your payout, and try to get the best deal possible.
What is redundancy?
Redundancy occurs when an employer needs to reduce the workforce for some reason unrelated to the conduct or capability of the individual(s) concerned.
Generally, your job must disappear for you to be made redundant, but it can also happen if someone else's job disappears and they are moved into your job, making you redundant.
This is known as "bumping," which often happens when a more senior employee is prepared to take a more junior role to avoid redundancy. An employer may find it hard to justify bumping as fair, however, which could lead to a claim for unfair dismissal.
Employee redundancy rights & redundancy rules
- right to consultation before redundancy to discuss alternative
- right to fair and objective redundancy selection criteria and procedure
- right to an explanation of the reasons for dismissal and the basis of selection
- right to appeal against redundancy
- right to try any alternative offer of employment for four weeks
- right to notice period or payment in lieu of notice
- right to take reasonable time off, with pay, to look for alternative work or training
- right to redundancy payment, provided the employee satisfies eligibility requirements
What if my employer is declared insolvent or cannot pay redundancy?
If an employer is declared insolvent or cannot pay redundancy pay, the redundant employee can apply for a direct payment from the National Insurance Fund. First, the employee must write to the employer asking for redundancy pay. If the employer's unable to pay, the employee should fill out Form RP1 available from the Insolvency Service.
Additional Information & Advice
You can obtain further information about your employee redundancy rights on FindLaw.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with an employment law solicitor. You can be matched with an employment law solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.
And, again depending on your situation, they may be able to help you find a solicitor who will agree to take your case on a "no win no fee" basis, which means you don't have to pay for the solicitor's services unless you win your case.