LRD Booklets November 2019

Redundancy law - a guide for union reps

Introduction

Introduction


[page 4]

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show an overall fall in redundancy figures year-on-year over the past decade since their peak in 2009. Yet they remain a constant threat, and continued cuts to funding in the public sector mean that job losses are a regular hazard. 


One union rep told the Labour Research Department (LRD) that while widescale redundancy has proved to be rare and can often be mitigated by redeployment or other options such as early retirement or voluntary redundancy, the knock-on health effects on those having to maintain the same level of work with fewer staff are evident in higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety. The effects of redundancy can be damaging for those losing their jobs and for those left to pick up the work. 


This LRD guide sets out the law on redundancy and aims to help union reps and their members navigate the redundancy process. It explains unions’ right to challenge mass redundancies through the collective consultation procedure as well as individual rights and what makes a fair procedure. 


The booklet is divided into nine Chapters, covering the following issues:


• Chapter 1 looks at what is (and is not) likely to amount to a redundancy, triggering the right to a redundancy payment and to claim unfair dismissal;


• Chapter 2 contains a summary of the law on collective consultation and protective awards;


• Chapter 3 focuses on redundancy selection;


• Chapter 4 explains the offer of “suitable alternative employment”;


• Chapter 5 focuses on individual consultation rights;


• Chapter 6 looks at equality issues including reasonable adjustments for disabled employees;


• Chapter 7 summaries the principles of unfair redundancy;


• Chapter 8 examines redundancy pay; and


• Chapter 9 looks at redundancy in insolvency situations.