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What Happens If You Are Made Redundant?

Made Redundant

Redundancy is a significant event in any employee’s career, often bringing a mix of uncertainty and concern. Understanding the nuances of redundancy, its causes, and your entitlements is crucial in navigating this challenging phase, and employment law experts can be vital in this process. This expanded article aims to delve into the complexities of redundancy, offering clarity and guidance for those facing this situation.

Understanding Redundancy

Redundancy occurs for various reasons, such as workplace restructuring, job roles becoming obsolete, or even the employer facing bankruptcy. It’s important to recognise that redundancy is about the role, not the person. For instance, if your employer cannot justify the role as essential to the business anymore, it could lead to redundancy. This could happen due to business relocation, restructuring, or closure.

The Redundancy Process

Consultation

A key aspect of the redundancy process is consultation. Employers are required to discuss major workplace changes with their employees, especially those that could lead to redundancy. This involves explaining the changes, their impacts, and measures to mitigate negative effects. Employees should be given a chance to voice their opinions before final decisions are made.

Redeployment and Retrenchment

If your job is made redundant, your employer should offer you another suitable role, if available. This is known as redeployment. However, if no appropriate role exists, you may face retrenchment, leading to potential eligibility for redundancy pay.

Eligibility and Calculation of Redundancy Pay

Most permanent employees are entitled to redundancy pay, except in certain cases like casual employment, small business employment, or less than a year of service. The amount of redundancy pay is usually calculated based on your tenure with the employer. For example, someone who has worked for 1-2 years might receive four weeks’ pay, while someone with 9-10 years might get 16 weeks’ pay. These figures represent minimum standards, and some awards or agreements may stipulate higher amounts.

What to Do If You’re Facing Redundancy

Understand Your Entitlements

Familiarise yourself with your entitlements, including redundancy pay and notice of termination. This information can often be found in your employment contract or relevant award.

Seek Advice

If you’re unsure about your entitlements or believe the redundancy process wasn’t fair, reach out to experienced employment lawyers for personalised guidance. They can help you understand your rights and next steps.

Consider Voluntary Redundancy

In some cases, employers offer voluntary redundancy as an alternative to compulsory retrenchments. This often involves a financial incentive for employees to leave voluntarily, which might be a preferable option for some.

Redundancy and Unfair Dismissal

It’s important to note that redundancy must be genuine. Employers cannot use it as an excuse to unfairly dismiss employees. If your role is made redundant, your employer cannot hire someone else to perform the same job. If you feel that your redundancy was not genuine or that you were unfairly dismissed, you have the right to challenge this decision, including through an unfair dismissal claim.

Take A Proactive Approach

Facing redundancy can be a stressful and uncertain time. However, understanding your rights, entitlements, and the proper process can make this transition smoother. Remember, it’s about your role, not your personal performance. If you’re navigating redundancy, consider all your options, seek advice, and understand your entitlements to ensure that you’re making the best decision for your future. Remember, support is always available through your union or legal advisors, ensuring that you’re not alone in this journey.

See also: What if you are suspended from work?

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