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Redundancy notice period explained

Published 22 August 2022

For anyone unfortunate enough to be made redundant there will be questions about what you are entitled to that will inevitably dominate your thinking.

One of the main questions is likely to be when will my employment end and what is my redundancy notice period?.

If you are being made redundant, your employer must tell you how long your notice period is and whether it is statutory or contractual.

Notice periods during redundancy are covered by employment law in the form of the Employment Rights Act 1996 [1 cited 22.8.22]

The redundancy notice period will start once your redundancy is confirmed. This will usually be certified in writing along with your end date.

If you are made redundant as a result of a fair process you will get statutory entitlements.

ACAS has produced a comprehensive guide detailing the redundancy process an employer should follow, collective consultation, and employee rights, including notice periods and pay [2 cited 22.8.22]

Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but if the process is unfair, you could possibly have a claim for unfair dismissal [3 cited 22.8.22]

So, if you are unhappy or unsure about the manner in which you have been selected for redundancy it is a good idea to seek expert advice before accepting any  payment offered by your employer [4 cited 22.8.22]

If you do accept the payment it may include statutory redundancy pay if you have been employed for two years or more [5 cited 22.8.22]

Your employer will also have to give you a minimum set notice period. You must be given a notice period before your employment ends

The statutory redundancy notice periods are [6 cited 22.8.22]

  • At least one week’s notice if employed between one month and 2 years
  • One week’s notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years
  • 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more

But check your contract because your employer may give you more than the statutory minimum. Contractual notice period is considered the same as the statutory minimum but it can be longer, which is known as an extension of redundancy notice

Going through the redundancy process can be a confusing and unsettling time for any employee.

If anything about your redundancy notice needs clarifying you should talk to your employer. ACAS suggest that in such situations you can ask your employer to put the following in writing:

  • The length of your notice period.
  • The date your notice period starts.
  • If you can leave before the end of your notice period.
  • If you need to take any unused holiday before you leave.
  • If you will still get contractual benefits, for example a fuel card or mobile phone, during your notice period.

You should be paid as normal if you continue to perform your regular duties as you work towards your end date.

Alternatively you may receive payment in lieu of notice if permitted by your contract of employment.

If it is included in your contract, you may find yourself in a position where you are made redundant without notice.

A ‘payment in lieu of notice,’ known as PILON, means that your employer will pay you instead of giving you a notice period.

You should not lose out if this happens as you will get all of your basic pay as normal and possibly any extras included in your contract e.g. private health care insurance or pension contributions.

If you are made redundant and you have less than two years’ service you do not have the same employment rights in law as a longer term employee.

Despite this you should still be given the appropriate notice or receive PILON.

However, if you believe the decision to terminate your contract by way of redundancy, before you have two years’ service, is as a result of discrimination, or if you are not included in the collective consultation process, there may be  other types of legal redress you can seek.

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