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How to prepare for a redundancy appeal hearing

Published 08 November 2021

If can be difficult to challenge a redundancy dismissal and you have got to put the work in to give yourself the best chance of success.

You should appeal if you believe you were selected unfairly or your employer did not follow a fair redundancy process.

Prior to any redundancy appeal hearing be clear, reasonable and realistic about the outcome you desire.

Your appeal should clearly set out why you believe the decision is unfair.

There is actually no automatic or legal right to appeal a redundancy dismissal, but is good practice for employers to allow you to do so.

A fair redundancy dismissal occurs when your job is no longer needed [1 Cited 8/11/21].  Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal.

But you can make a claim for unfair dismissal, if you believe you were unfairly selected and you have over two years’ service [2 cited 8/11/21]

While you need the qualifying length of service to bring an unfair dismissal claim, all employees are protected from discrimination from day one of their employment [3 cited 8/11/21]

It is automatically unfair if you are made redundant because of a protected characteristic e.g. your age, disability, sex or because you are pregnant or on maternity leave.

Key in preparing for a redundancy appeal is to gather as much information as you can about the decision and process conducted in order to prove it is unfair.

It will help you to review, assess and then demonstrate at the appeal hearing why the decision was unreasonable.

Make sure you have a clear outline of the redundancy selection process in writing

There is no requirement for your employer to have a redundancy policy. So firstly you need to establish if it does have one and if it followed a fair process.

ACAS provide a good practice redundancy guide that employers should adhere to [4 cited 08/11/21]

In reaching the stage where you need to appeal against a redundancy dismissal, you are likely to have collected relevant paperwork and evidence throughout the process.

This can include the business case for redundancy presented by your employer, details of the new company structure and roles, alternative vacancies and your consultation meeting notes.

However, if in preparation for your appeal hearing you require further clarification or information, request it in writing.

Ask for all of the information gathered, used and considered in making the decision.

If you role is unique and you are the only one selected for redundancy this is essential in helping you to challenge a decision to make you redundant.

If you were selected from a redundancy pool including colleagues it would have been done using a scoring matrix [5 cited 8/11/21]

So for example, you can request redacted copies of the scores of your colleagues, your attendance records or appraisal notes.

Within any information you request there is likely to be evidence you can present in support of your case at a redundancy appeal hearing.

Use what is written in your appeal letter to structure how you will present your case at the appeal hearing. The letter will be used as the basis for the meeting.

Write down the main points you wish to say in support of you appeal in a document you can present at the hearing.

Prepare any questions you wish to ask about anything you believe is not right or unfair e.g. why a new role appears to be your job with a different title or why was I not in a pool with X

Your statutory right to be accompanied only covers disciplinary and grievance hearings (including any appeal hearings) [6 cited 8/11/21]

However, it is good practice for your employer to offer you the right to be accompanied at a redundancy appeal hearing. If it does not do so, make a request in writing to be allowed to take a companion who can provide you with invaluable support.

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For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 

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