Redundancy reasons and selection
You can only be made redundant if an employer no longer requires your role; the employer should be reducing their workforce and the role you did should no longer exist going forward. If they give your job to someone else, or shortly after you leave advertise the same (or a very similar) role, that is not redundancy and could be classed as unfair dismissal.
Reasons for redundancy
Reasons for redundancies surround the removal of a role, or an entire department / function within a business. Legitimate reasons for redundancy could be:-
• Automation or technology has made your role unnecessary
• The job you do no longer exists within the company
• The company needs to reduce staff numbers to save costs
• The business has changed hands or is merging with another company
• The business is closing or insolvent
Redundancy selection process
The selection process for redundancy should be fair and not arbitrary; it cannot be based on gender, sex, race, religion, age, working patterns, or membership of trade unions. It would also be unlawful if it was based on you exercising any statutory rights like maternity / paternity leave, whistleblowing or taking part in lawful actions like jury service or industrial action. These would all be classed as unfair dismissal.
A fair selection process for candidates would be:-
• Length of service (last in first out)
• Qualifications and experience for the role
• Disciplinary records or staff appraisals / evaluations
• A voluntary scheme (allowing colleagues to nominate themselves, although employers don’t have to accept)
The redundancy selection process could ask for you to reapply for your own job, this is often used as a process to help make decisions on redundancies. If you decide not to take part in this process your employer can make you redundant.
Unfair Selection process
If you feel that the selection process has been unfair, write to your employer as soon as possible to explain your reasons for believing this. In certain circumstances you may be able to claim for unfair dismissal.
Alternative job offers
An employer can offer you a suitable alternative position within the company. Suitability should include pay, hours, personal circumstances and location, plus take into account your experience and skills. This offer should be made before your existing job ends, if a suitable position is available and you are not offered it instead of redundancy this could be classed as unfair dismissal.
You can test the alternative role for a period of four weeks; you must give notice in this period if the job is not suitable. If you don’t accept an alternative offer of employment without a good reason then you may lose your entitlement to redundancy pay.