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Redundancy Threat: How Much Paid Time Off to Seek Work?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 30 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Redundancy Threat: How Much Paid Time Off To Seek Work?

Q.Our manager, who is handling current redundancy procedures at our company, seems to think that, "reasonable time off to look for work during the notice period" is something determined by him, and the employer.

When I put it to him, that by law, we are entitled to 2 fifths of the working week with pay, ie 2 days paid time off, during the whole of the notice period, he is claiming that I am wrong, and that the time off is at the employer's discretion. He says that they would allow possibly 2 half days.

Who is right? I believe we are also entitled to unpaid time off as well, albeit a reasonable amount.

(J.H, 11 April 2009)

A.

It is always frustrating when your employer is refusing to give you something that you believe you are entitled to. Whether they are doing it to be awkward or just because they misunderstand, it can be difficult to sort out the situation between you. In the case that you are querying, about time off during a redundancy notice period, you and your boss are both right in certain ways.

The law says, as you have rightly pointed out, that employees are entitled to ‘reasonable time off to look for work during the notice period’. This law is in place to give employees a chance to attend interviews, visit colleges for further study or use their time to look for future work opportunities for when their notice period ends.

The amount of time that you are referring to – 2 fifths of the working week – is mentioned in this legislation and is considered to be a reasonable amount of time to allocate during a 12 week period. However, this amount of time is not a strict ruling, as you would probably like it to be but more of a suggestion that can be upheld.

Firstly, an employee is only entitled to any time off to look for work if they have been with their employer continuously for at least two years. Secondly, the amount of time is indeed, as you employer says, at their discretion. The reason that the 2 days’ paid leave is stated is because this is the most amount of compensation that an employee can be awarded if they take their employer to a tribunal about the matter.

This does not mean that your employer has to give you this amount of time off. What it means is that if you decide they are being unreasonable and take the matter further then a court can award you up to two days’ pay for your lack of time off. Usually this translates into employers using the two days as a benchmark so that they do not have any such problems, but by law, as long as they take reasonable consideration, they do not have to give you the time in the first instance.

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part timer - Your Question:
Hello,Our college is planning redundancies. They made a selection pool of the part time staff - which they say is justified because the job title for full timers includes certain other duties although in the main both are lecturers - some part time, some full time.But, the work that the part-timers do (teaching hours) are being shared amongst the full time staff who otherwise would not have a full workload due to a drop in the number of students/closure of certain courses. The teaching is seminars and workshops - the full time staff will now undertake them instead of the part timers.I have been told they can put only the part time people in the selection pool because the full timers have a more extensive job description/additional duties and guess I have to accept that. But redundancy is supposed to be when the work is no longer available/reduced. In this case, much of the work is still available - but it is being given to full time staff and the part time staff are being redundant.Can you tell me if this is allowed under employment law?many thanks for any help/advice.

Our Response:
It seems there could be some discrimination here on the basis that the full-time employees are being picked to absorb the part-timers' work. You must not select an employee for redundancy based on being a part-time employee. Therefore, I think in this case you may wish to give ACAS a call regarding this matter in order to question/explore whether or not a fairer selection process should be put in place.
RedundancyExpert - 1-Dec-17 @ 12:37 PM
Hello, Our college is planning redundancies.They made a selection pool of the part time staff - which they say is justified because the job title for full timers includes certain other duties although in the main both are lecturers - some part time, some full time. But, the work that the part-timers do (teaching hours) are being shared amongst the full time staff who otherwise would not have a full workload due to a drop in the number of students/closure of certain courses.The teaching is seminars and workshops - the full time staff will now undertake them instead of the part timers. I have been told they can put only the part time people in the selection pool because the full timers have a more extensive job description/additional duties and guess I have to accept that.But redundancy is supposed to be when the work is no longer available/reduced.In this case, much of the work isstill available - but it is being given to full time staff and the part time staff are being redundant. Can you tell me if this is allowed under employment law? many thanks for any help/advice.
part timer - 30-Nov-17 @ 7:44 PM
Caren - Your Question:
Hi, wonder if someone can advise me:I have worked for the company I work at for 3 years and 4 months. I was employed as a Finance Manager on a permanent contract, the job description I have states normal day to day tasks that a Finance Manager deals with, although at the interview I was told the school was in Special measures and my first job would be to try and get it out of Special measures. Within 3 years I have achieved that and am now being made redundant. The reason they have given is that the school is no longer in special measures so my skills are no longer required. The job I am doing is not being made redundant though, a lot of the less senior tasks will be taken on by a new Finance Officer on a lower grade, the more senior tasks are being passed to my Manager. I feel that I am being made redundant on the wrong grounds to start with and it is all very unfair. I was told in an unofficial meeting in March that my job is in the budget until 31st July this year but not after that, so that would be my presumed leave date. I am still only under threat of redundancy as the decision has to be made by the Council which isn't happening until the 15th of this month. My notice period is 3 months. I am being given statutory redundancy only. I have been told that 'reasonable' time off is 1/2 a day a week plus any extra time for interviews, but will have to come into work before and after the interview on that day. I asked for training courses which total £1000, they have agreed to pay these, but not to any time off to do them and told I have to do that in my own time. I feel that all of this is very unfair and not being dealt with properly. Can anyone help me so that I can try and negociate something with them? TIA

Our Response:
I think in this case, due to the complexities, you would have to speak to ACAS regarding this matter.
RedundancyExpert - 5-May-17 @ 11:12 AM
Hi, wonder if someone can advise me:I have worked for the company I work at for 3 years and 4 months. I was employed as a Finance Manager on a permanent contract, the job description I have states normal day to day tasks that a Finance Manager deals with, although at the interview I was told the school was in Special measures and my first job would be to try and get it out of Special measures. Within 3 years I have achieved that and am now being made redundant. The reason they have given is that the school is no longer in special measures so my skills are no longer required. The job I am doing is not being made redundant though, a lot of the less senior tasks will be taken on by a new Finance Officer on a lower grade, the more senior tasks are being passed to my Manager. I feel that I am being made redundant on the wrong grounds to start with and it is all very unfair. I was told in an unofficial meeting in March that my job is in the budget until 31st July this year but not after that, so that would be my presumed leave date. I am still only under threat of redundancy as the decision has to be made by the Council which isn't happening until the 15th of this month. My notice period is 3 months. I am being given statutory redundancy only. I have been told that 'reasonable' time off is 1/2 a day a week plus any extra time for interviews, but will have to come into work before and after the interview on that day. I asked for training courses which total £1000, they have agreed to pay these, but not to any time off to do them and told I have to do that in my own time. I feel that all of this is very unfair and not being dealt with properly. Can anyone help me so that I can try and negociate something with them? TIA
C - 4-May-17 @ 1:05 PM
I was accepted for voluntary redundancy on 2nd February and had the confirmation of this in writing. I have however still not received my finishing date although verbally I have been advised it will be the end of June. Do I have any rights on this front or am I the mercy of the company?
Andy S - 22-Mar-17 @ 10:33 AM
I work at a restaurant. We have been given notice that is going to close down and some possible redundancies may occur. In the consultation meeting the company has told us that the redundancies will be calculated over the average hours ONLY not taking the gratuities into account. We get paid from those gratuities through our payslips and they are sometimes more than half of our salary. Is the company being fair or should we contact legal advice on this situation? Thank you.
Wawa - 14-Mar-17 @ 11:07 AM
I work in a business where they have an ongoing voluntary redundancy programme. I applied and was asked to produce a structure whereby my position could be redundant, this I duly did. After 3 months I received a letter to say my application was refused. By this time I had become disillusioned and handed in my notice. The same day I was givena new structure in line with my recommendations which no longer contained my position. Have I any grounds for redress as they have clearly removed my role whilst rejecting my VR application.
k8 - 13-Oct-16 @ 7:36 PM
Hi Quick question. Just out of a meeting with the whole sales force and they are offering voultnrary reduncy. They have given us all 48 hours to decide This time scale seems a bit short? Whats the rule?
Paul Tuson - 6-Apr-16 @ 7:43 PM
Evening, I have a question regarding redundancy payment precedents. Around 12months ago my company employed a person to a previously existing role but the person did not have the requisite skill set to perform the role, this was known at the time but the company was under pressure to fill the role. 10months later the role was made redundant and a new role created that would perform exactly the same tasks. During the 'on notice' period my line manager let slip that the company was not offering 3month notice period as on the employees contract due to less then 2 year rule. My manager was not happy with this and said he would pursue the 3 months on the basis that he would be a big risk in terms of information he possesses. He was successful in this and the employee walked away with 3months payment. I do not know if this was PILON or ex gratia but can find out from the ex-employee if needs be! Recently in our department, two of us have been placed under notice. I have been at the company for 4 years and the company is offering voluntary redundancy package that is PILON plus 50% of notice, plus statutory. My knowledge and access to company information, future areas of interest and manufacturing techniques far exceeds that of the ex-employee and would put me in a higher risk category. During my individual consultations do I have any precedent to go for a similar payment on top of what is on offer? I am happy to accept the voluntary as I have been thinking of leaving for a while but I have a family to look after so being greedy in this situation suits me fine!
nibbletz - 5-Mar-16 @ 9:41 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Dear Redundancy Expert,Thank you for your answer on the redundancy payment taxation. I am sorry if I was not clear. What I mean is that the company would like to give me the statutory redundancy payment based on my years of service, which is £X amount. Additionally they would like to offer the same £X amount again, which is as far as I know should be enhanced redundancy payment. So finally I am offered 2 x £X (statutory + enhanced). My company says that they cannot give the enhanced part tax free because HMRC instructed them as I mentioned in my original letter. I hope I managed to explain it better, could you tell me if you need further information, please?Thank you for your help in advance.Kind regards, Our Response:Up to £30,000 of statutory redundancy pay is tax free. The company cannot consider or couch any statutory redundancy as a 'payment in kind'. Your question is a little confusing as to what this additional 'compensatory' payment is. As 'redundancy' alone is in effect a compensatory payment. Therefore, I suggest you contact ACAS to talk this through directly. RedundancyExpert - 20-Oct-15 @ 10:43 AM

Our Response:
Thank you for explaining more clearly, please see our other article: All About Non-Statutory Redundancy Pay, link here , and herewhich should answer your questions.
RedundancyExpert - 23-Oct-15 @ 12:57 PM
Dear Redundancy Expert, Thank you for your answer on the redundancy payment taxation. I am sorry if I was not clear. What I mean is that the company would like to give me the statutory redundancy payment based on my years of service, which is £X amount. Additionally they would like to offer the same £X amount again, which is as far as I know should be enhanced redundancy payment. So finally I am offered 2 x £X (statutory + enhanced). My company says that they cannot give the enhanced part tax free because HMRC instructed them as I mentioned in my original letter. I hope I managed to explain it better, could you tell me if you need further information, please? Thank you for your help in advance. Kind regards, Our Response: Up to £30,000 of statutory redundancy pay is tax free. The company cannot consider or couch any statutory redundancy as a 'payment in kind'. Your question is a little confusing as to what this additional 'compensatory' payment is. As 'redundancy' alone is in effect a compensatory payment. Therefore, I suggest you contact ACAS to talk this through directly. RedundancyExpert - 20-Oct-15 @ 10:43 AM
Sam - 22-Oct-15 @ 5:18 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi, I am being made redundant and besides statutory redundancy payment, the company offers compensation payment, which is a practice they do with every employee they make redundant.Although the redundancy payment is tax free up to £30,000, the company says that HMRC instructed them to consider this as payment in kind and make it taxable because it has been the company's practice.Can the company offer tax free enhanced payment or any other type of redundancy payment that can be tax free? Thank you.

Our Response:
Up to £30,000 of statutory redundancy pay is tax free. The company cannot consider or couch any statutory redundancy as a 'payment in kind'. Your question is a little confusing as to what this additional 'compensatory' payment is. As 'redundancy' alone is in effect a compensatory payment. Therefore, I suggest you contact ACAS to talk this through directly.
RedundancyExpert - 20-Oct-15 @ 10:43 AM
Hi, I am being made redundant and besides statutory redundancy payment, the company offers compensation payment, which is a practice they do with every employee they make redundant. Although the redundancy payment is tax free up to £30,000, the company says that HMRC instructed them to consider this as payment in kind and make it taxable because it has been the company's practice. Can the company offer tax free enhanced payment or any other type of redundancy payment that can be tax free? Thank you.
Sam - 19-Oct-15 @ 3:36 PM
Twix - Your Question:
HelloI have worked for the NHS for 40 years.I have been informed that I am at 'Risk' due to organisational re-structure/merger.I'm going thought the Redeployment stage. HR provide lists of vacancies however there is nothing suitable. HR phoned asking how I was progressing looking for another job and that they will noe phone me each week for a progress report. Can HR do this and also make me apply for other jobs? This is a 'new' organisation that does not require my services,so why should I change jobs,they should pay/make me redundant.

Our Response:
I suggest in this instance you give ACAS a call, especially if you are feeling under pressure by this new company. You can do so via the link here.
RedundancyExpert - 28-Aug-15 @ 12:24 PM
Hello I have worked for the NHS for 40 years.I have been informed that i am at 'Risk' due to organisational re-structure/merger.I'm going thought the Redeployment stage. HR provide lists of vacancies however there is nothing suitable. HR phoned asking how i was progressing looking for another job and that they will noe phone me each week for a progress report. Can HR do this and also make me apply for other jobs? This is a 'new' organisation that does not require my services,so why should i change jobs,they should pay/make me redundant.
Twix - 27-Aug-15 @ 2:47 PM
@dnviessk - you should have received a letter telling you how much will be paid to you. However, if not, you can check how much you should be paid by the gov.uk link ' calculate your statutory redundancy pay', here. I hope this helps.
RedundancyExpert - 18-May-15 @ 11:50 AM
Hello, I am going to made redundant next month and I know this is for sure... I have 3 months notice in my contract and my payday is on the 24th. I still have 15 days holidays. My questions are: - How much money can I expect from my company at the end on my employment? Is it fair to assume that a 3 x £2500 (I am on £30K) / an untaxed amountas per y notice period will be paid to me On top of that my unused holidays will also be paid in full to me which £1875 I am aware there's also a week payment paid (as I've been working over a year for my employer)which will give e £ 625 untaxed too. Are my assumptions right ? Please let me know
dnviessk - 14-May-15 @ 5:20 PM
@Taff - usually it is the other way around and employers generally offer higher than normal levels of redundancy compensation, usually in a big lump sum, as an incentive for staff to leave voluntarily.By doing it this way around, and offering the statutory pay first, and a better deal if you stay in your job, it's not really encouraging anyone to apply is it?
BenJ - 12-Nov-14 @ 11:37 AM
My company has just announced that that they require to have 12 redundancys in the first instance they are asking for volunteers and the redunuance package is just statutory but our compulsey package is far more generous is this legal
taff - 11-Nov-14 @ 5:48 PM
Hi, could someone help please? I have been given VOLUNTARY redundancy. My question is - Am I entitled to the time off detailed above to search for a new job? Thanks
filing9 - 24-Jul-14 @ 1:29 AM
@Lisa, the fact that you will have redundancy pay may effect your right to claim benefits. Here's a link to www.gov.uk where you can find out more info relating to JSA and benefits. The number to call is also on the website and they will be able to help you understand what you will be entitled to and when.
RedundancyExpert - 14-Jul-14 @ 12:10 PM
I have been served 12 weeks redundancy notice.We have been told we can leave withing this time and still be entitled to our redundancy payment.If I left say in two weeks time, would I be able to claim Job seekers allowance while I was out of work?I am entitled to it as per the rest of my circumstances.
Lisa - 13-Jul-14 @ 12:32 PM
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