Redundancy VS Unfair Dismissal
If you suspect you might have been subjected to an unfair dismissal this guide will help you confirm whether or not you have a case.
What is redundancy?
Redundancy is essentially when your job/ role ceases to exist. It is different to being dismissed for other reasons. If you are made redundant, it is most commonly down to:
- Cutting costs
- Closing down or relocating
- The position you hold is no longer needed
What is considered to be a fair redundancy process?
If the redundancies are necessary, the employer must have a fair and balanced way of determining who will be selected for redundancy.
This is usually based on:
- The standard of work produced by each employee
- Attendance records
- Disciplinary records
It is obligatory for your employer to:
- Give a satisfactory warning of your possible redundancy
- Discuss with you why you’re being selected
- Consider other possible options to redundancy, including an alternative position
What is unfair dismissal?
If the employer hasn’t followed the redundancy process, your dismissal may have been unfair and you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.
Your employer must converse with you directly in regard to why you have been chosen and discuss alternatives to redundancy. If no discussion has taken place, you may have been unfairly dismissed.
Furthermore, none of the following points should contribute to your redundancy:
- Sexual orientation
- Being a member of a trade union
- Working part-time or on a fixed-term contract
You may be able to claim unfair dismissal at a tribunal if your employer hasn’t followed the process.
Employers quite often offer settlement agreements to settle a potential unfair dismissal claim so that they do not have to follow the correct procedure. This would mean giving up your rights to make a claim in a tribunal but may mean that you can negotiate a good settlement.
Also, it is extremely important to note that your employer must pay for you to receive independent legal advice on the settlement agreement so that you fully understand what rights you’ll be giving up.
Appealing against an unfair dismissal should go as follows:
Step 1 – Appeal in writing:
If you believe that being made redundant is based on biased grounds, appeal against your employer’s decision. Read through your contract or staff handbook to ensure this is done correctly and watch out for any time limits. In this letter explain why you believe this is an unfair decision and what can be done by your employer to put the situation right. You may also consult an employee representative if you require assistance.
Step 2 – Consult your trade union representative
If you have heard back from your employer and you are unhappy with the response, discuss the matter with your trade union representative, as they may be better at arguing your case on your behalf.
Step 3 – Early conciliation
If you have tried to discuss the matter with your employer, but it has fallen onto deaf ears, and you think you have a strong case, make a claim to an employment tribunal. Prior to this you must inform ACAS. They will try and settle this with your employer through early conciliation. However, neither you nor your employer must agree to this. You must notify ACAS as soon as possible because strict time limits apply for making a claim.
Step 4 – Consider an employment tribunal
You can take your employer to an employment tribunal if you have a strong case and if it hasn’t been settled through an early conciliation.
If you feel that you have a claim for unfair dismissal, you should complete the enquiry form or call us on 0161 249 5087 and we will be happy to discuss your settlement options and/or guide you through the process of making an unfair dismissal claim.