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Am I at Risk of Being Made Redundant?

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 15 Aug 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Redundancy Firm Company Employers

Redundancy for most people does not come out of the blue and there are normally some signs that something is wrong within the company before it takes the plunge and makes some of its staff redundant.

When a company announces redundancies are on the cards they need to follow a set structure and it is normally the same kind of employees that are considered first for redundancy.

What it Means to be at Risk of Redundancy

If there is a risk you could be made redundant your employer will often place you on what is known as ‘at risk of redundancy’. This does not necessarily mean that all staff will be made redundant though, but if for example you work with a group of people that all carry out the same role you could be declared ‘at risk’ of redundancy while they try and redeploy you elsewhere.

If your employer is unsuccessful at redeploying you within the firm then it is likely you will be made redundant. Some firms can keep their employees ‘at risk’ of redundancy for up to 12 months while they try to find a position for them elsewhere in the company. Normally if your employer makes you ‘at risk’ it is a good sign because it means they are looking for a solution and do not want to make you redundant.

Those Most at Risk of Redundancy

When it comes to employers deciding which of their staff to make redundant they should follow a set structure and be able to justify their decision if it were to be questioned by an outside body. Employers should also let you appeal the decision if you feel you have been unfairly treated.

Employers will look at a number of areas of your work depending on your specialist skills, but they will normally also take into account the following:

  • Your attendance – employers should look at this fairly and not hold genuine absence against you. If you have had a long-term illness or a genuine reason for a low attendance record they should take that into account.
  • Your skills and experience – if you are fairly new to the role or do not have the same qualifications as somebody else doing your job this could be a valid reason for your employer to choose you over your colleague.
  • Disciplinary history – If you have had to be told off or disciplined in any way at your work your employer can use this as justification for choosing you for redundancy.
  • Your standard of work – Employers are looking to keep those staff that will work the hardest and give them the most for their money. If there have been problems with your standard of work in the past this could work against you.
This does not mean to say that others in the workforce could not be made redundant, but if you are made redundant your employer will have to specifically specify the reason why.

You will only have three months to lodge a complaint with the employers’ tribunal if you feel you have been unfairly dismissed. Some firms will often try and agree a large settlement with you in exchange for an agreement from you that you will not appeal the decision.

Redundancy Procedure For Small Firms

Whether a firm employs 10 or 100 employees, they should always try and give you a notice period before making you redundant, but for smaller firms this is not always possible.

When making fewer than 20 employees redundant it is common practice for firms to consult for at least two weeks before serving notice. This timescale however is not set in law and for smaller firms all they are required to do is act responsibly and fairly. Therefore an employer can justify making redundancies on the spot or with a few days notice if they can prove that this was necessary to ensure the survival of the company.

Firms should however still let you now the number of people they are considering for redundancy and why they chose you over your colleagues.If your employer is proposing 20 - 99 redundancies they must start the consultation at least 30 days before any dismissals take effect.If they are planning 100 or more redundancies, they must start the consultation process at least 90 days before any redundancies take place.

Being made redundant is not a pleasant experience for anybody but if you are mentally prepared for it the blow can be lessened. There is no benefit to worrying about every move your employer makes, but by keeping your ear to the ground you can normally tell when redundancy is on its way.

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Incorrect guidance on consultation periods!
Mar - 15-Aug-18 @ 9:35 PM
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