Home > Law > Time-Off to Look for Work or Retrain When Redundancy is Imminent

Time-Off to Look for Work or Retrain When Redundancy is Imminent

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 11 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Time-off To Look For Work Or Retrain When Redundancy Is Imminent

Naturally, if you’re facing redundancy, you’ll be considering your future intensively and will want to explore new employment or training opportunities. Fortunately, the law allows you to combine that with your remaining obligations to your employer without losing out financially.

The law obligates your employer to give you “reasonable” time off to look for work or retrain when you are under notice of redundancy and, the best part, to pay you in full for this time off just as of you had been working. Unfortunately, the law does not precisely define what “reasonable” means in this context. It is a grey area which can occasionally give rise to disputes.

Note that the maximum amount the employer is obliged to pay you is equivalent to two fifths of a normal week’s pay, even if you are absent for longer than that. If your contract of employment makes additional provisions for paid time off compared to the statutory minimum, any statutory amounts your employer pays you will be offset against the contractual requirements.

It is fairly standard for employers to ask to see evidence that the time off will be spent for the purpose specified. For example, the employer may ask to see the letter inviting you to attend an interview if you ask for time off for that reason. Your right to time off is not limited to attending interviews, however. You could, for example, ask for time off to arrange new training for yourself.

Restrictions on Rights to Paid Time Off

Be aware also that this obligation relates only to the formal redundancy notice period. Sometimes an employer will give advance warning of an upcoming redundancy before the formal notice period begins. You will have no right to time off then.

Only those who have been with the employer continuously for two years are entitled to time off under the statute. Eligibility criteria for this are identical to those for redundancy pay. If you haven’t been with your employer that long, it is possible that your contract of employment will give you extra rights.

If Your Employer Refuses to Give You Time Off

If your employer refuses to let you have the time off to which you are entitled by law, or refuses to pay you for it, you can complain to an Employment Tribunal. For this you should get hold of the form called ET1. It can be downloaded from the Employment Tribunal website.

Your complaint must be brought within three months of the date on which the time off was or should have been taken. If there were exceptional circumstances preventing you from beginning the complaint procedure within this time frame, extensions can sometimes be granted.

Note that the maximum money amount the Employment Tribunal can award you is two fifths of a week’s pay. If you have already been paid this much by your employer, you will not get any more money, even if the tribunal finds in your favour.

Time Off When Facing Redundancy – Conclusion

Paid time off to look for work is only one of the many protections the law grants workers who are facing redundancy.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi, I have just received confirmation that we are being made redundant and the office closing at the end of this month with the business paying us by way of PILON. Do you know if we are still entitled to paid time off if our notice period doesn't actually start until the office closes? I have asked for time off to attend an interview which has been refused as they say they are not obliged to offer time to look for work as our notice doesn't come into effect until we leave and as they are paying the notice up front, suggesting that is when we can look for work. Thanks.
Werd88 - 11-Jul-18 @ 12:13 PM
Hock123 - Your Question:
I've worked for this company for 1 and half years and now I've been handed a 1 week redundancy notice. Am I allowed paid time off to look for new work or not.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The statutory redundancy notice period is at least one week’s notice if employed between one month and two years. If you’ve been continuously employed for two years by the date your notice period ends, you’re allowed a reasonable amount of time off to: look for another job /arrange training to help you find another job. How long you can take will depend on your circumstances. No matter how much time you take off to look for another job, the most your employer has to pay you is 40% of one week’s pay, please see link here .
RedundancyExpert - 9-Jul-18 @ 10:03 AM
I've worked for this company for 1 and half years and now I've been handed a 1 week redundancy notice. Am I allowed paid time off to look for new work or not.
Hock123 - 8-Jul-18 @ 11:35 AM
Pip - Your Question:
HiShould I be allowed time off to stay at home to look for work? I'm in a very central location within the building, everyone knows where to find me and I work for most of them so I'm getting constant interruptions. The meeting rooms are always busy and although HR has offered me their little office, I find it very drab and depressing and I don't have my things around me. I would feel much better at home with my own things, my own laptop and no distractions. Am I allowed to request, or demand, this?

Our Response:
You would have to ask your employer directly, as it is at your employer's discretion.
RedundancyExpert - 2-Jul-18 @ 3:02 PM
Hi Should I be allowed time off to stay at home to look for work?I'm in a very central location within the building, everyone knows where to find me and I work for most of them so I'm getting constant interruptions.The meeting rooms are always busy and although HR has offered me their little office, I find it very drab and depressing and I don't have my things around me.I would feel much better at home with my own things, my own laptop and no distractions.Am I allowed to request, or demand, this?
Pip - 2-Jul-18 @ 12:09 PM
Hi, being made redundant at the end of the year as the role is being moved offshore to Manila. I am in a commission based job, and was off sick for 3 months prior to being told the office will close. During sick leave we do not earn commission so I was only paid my salary. Now, for the 12 week period that my redundancy payment is going to be calculated from as we are getting an enhanced redundancy package, I would have only been in the business for 4 of those weeks, meaning I would lose out on 8 weeks of commission, and therefore set to lose between £5k and £6k. The paperwork around redundancy states the 12 weeks is calculated based on the last 12 complete weeks, so should sickness and even holiday be included within this, or should I get paid on when I was in the office, or on a basic On Target Commission? This is affecting a number of staff within the office where it seems that we are being treated unfairly as we were not in the position to earn commission due to genuine sickness. Thanks
lagerstar - 23-Nov-17 @ 1:51 PM
Davo - Your Question:
My job has been put at risk I have been told that the company will be using a matrix to select 2 from 4 to be made redundant. On the matrix will they be able to mark me down because I dont do a lot of overtime this is due to family circumstances I do work when I can

Our Response:
You can see more via the ACAS link here , which will tell you all you need to know.
RedundancyExpert - 3-Nov-17 @ 12:29 PM
My job has been put at risk I have been told that the company will be using a matrix to select 2 from 4 to be made redundant. On the matrix will they be able to mark me down because I dont do a lot of overtime this is due to family circumstances I do work when I can
Davo - 2-Nov-17 @ 9:11 PM
I've been advised last week that my position is being made redundant. I've worked for the company for 11 years so I understand that I will be entitled to statutory redundancy pay capped at £489 per week, but what other payments will I be entitled to? My employer doesn't have a copy of my contract of employment but I do - if it states I should receive additional contractual redundancy pay are they legally obliged to pay this? Should I also receive any compensation payment for loss of my company car, holidays that haven't been taken etc? Sorry for rambling but this came as a complete shock. I have the first of the consultation meetings tomorrow and I'm just trying to get my head round what I'm entitled to and the options available to me.
Quiverson2014 - 20-Sep-17 @ 6:36 AM
Mary - Your Question:
My company is restructuring and I have been told my role no longer exists within the new structure and there are no suitable roles within the new (smaller) structure. I am now in my 30 day consultancy period. Am I able to start looking for a new job now or will I have to wait until being served my formal redundancy notice?

Our Response:
If you’ve been continuously employed for two years by the date your notice period ends, you’re allowed a reasonable amount of time off to: look for another job and/or arrange training to help you find another job. Please see link here .
RedundancyExpert - 19-Sep-17 @ 2:17 PM
My company is restructuring and I have been told my role no longer exists within the new structure and there are no suitable roles within the new (smaller) structure. I am now in my 30 day consultancy period. Am I able to start looking for a new job now or will I have to wait until being served my formal redundancy notice?
Mary - 17-Sep-17 @ 7:57 PM
I have taken voluntary redundancy and I am now serving my six weeks statutory notice. I have found several suitable jobs and will over the next two weeks being going for interviews. At the moment this amounts to two mornings and an afternoon off next week plus a whole day off the week after. I was under the impression that this time off would be paid by my employer under the statutory government guidelines. However, my employer has told me that some of the time will be taken as holiday entitlement (mainly the whole day off interview). Is this right? I have consulted my contract of employment and there is nothing in it relating to redundancy whatsoever.
Action - 13-Apr-17 @ 12:29 PM
Nomvula - Your Question:
Hi,I have been retrenched and serving a notice. My employer has unilaterally changed my working hours (never started work at 8 throughout my stay with the company and neither are the retained employees) and demands that I perform menial duties like filing and scanning documents where as I was retrenched from a middle management role. I am afraid the next thing will be that I clean the staff kitchen as she has mentioned that she has nothing for me to do. Am I obliged to perform such tasks?

Our Response:
If the terms and conditions of your contract stipulates that your hours and duties can change, then your employer can do this. You may wish to speak with your employer directly regarding this. If you think that your employer’s request, or perhaps even their demand, is in response to the current economic downturn, you may be wise to ask yourself if you would be better to accept the changes in order to maintain your employment, albeit on a reduced scale. If, however, you feel as though you are being toyed with and are simply being let down by your employers, you may wish to speak to ACAS to obtain some further advice regarding your rights.
RedundancyExpert - 11-Apr-17 @ 2:50 PM
Hi, I have been retrenched and serving a notice. My employer has unilaterally changed my working hours (never started work at 8 throughout my stay with the company and neither are the retained employees) and demands that I perform menial duties like filing and scanning documents where as I was retrenched from a middle management role. I am afraid the next thing will be that I clean the staff kitchen as she has mentioned that she has nothing for me to do. Am I obliged to perform such tasks?
Nomvula - 11-Apr-17 @ 9:29 AM
My employer has issued notice that we are on consultation for redundancy with roles expected to end on 6th March, we have been given 45 days with the consultation but the plan is to pay us Pilon rather than notice. Is the employer required to give us time off to search for jobs?
Redste - 8-Feb-17 @ 5:30 PM
Marie- Your Question:
I have been told my role will end by 28th February as I was only told last week I'm being made redundant. I've worked for company for 10 months. My contracted hours a week are 48 which is 4x12 hour shifts. I am finding it difficult to arrange interviews to find another job. I'm worried I only have a short time frame. Should my employer allow me time off within my contracted hours to arrange interviews? And will I be paid?

Our Response:
If you’ve been continuously employed for two years by the date your notice period ends, you’re allowed a reasonable amount of time off to look for another job, or arrange training to help you find another job. However, if you have been employed for less than this period, then the terms are at your employer's discretion and should be outlined in your consultation documentation.
RedundancyExpert - 24-Jan-17 @ 2:22 PM
I have been told my role will end by 28th February as I was only told last week I'm being made redundant.I've worked for company for 10 months.My contracted hours a week are 48 which is 4x12 hour shifts. I am finding it difficult to arrange interviews to find another job. I'm worried I only have a short time frame. Should my employer allow me time off within my contracted hours to arrange interviews? And will I be paid?
Marie - 23-Jan-17 @ 11:58 PM
rosie - Your Question:
My employer is restructuring our company and several of us were advised our jobs were at risk. We were then given new roles to apply for but also had to take a literacy and numeracy test. After three years with the company, hitting targets and blemish free track record, I have been offered a new role at £5k lower than old job but similar responsibility. The sting is that I was told by hr that I had been awsrded the lowpay scale because I had achieved the standard in the tests and interview as I had not exceeded the standard and on this basis would be paid the lower wage. Others have not had to be interviewed or do tests and therefore retained their current salaries. Some have new job titles but again have not had to jump through hoops! If salary is apportioned purely on tests and interview scores then surely everyone in the company should be re--interviewed the same way? It may be legal but it's not moral, and is so demotivating.

Our Response:
In this case I should give ACAS a call to see whether your employer is working within employment guidelines.
RedundancyExpert - 13-Apr-16 @ 10:11 AM
Myemployer is restructuring our company and several of us were advised our jobs were at risk. We were then given new roles to apply for but also had to take a literacy and numeracy test. After three years with the company, hitting targets and blemish free track record, I have been offered a new role at £5k lower than old job but similar responsibility. The sting is that i was told by hr that i had been awsrded the lowpay scale because i had achieved the standard in the tests and interview as i had not exceeded the standard and on this basis would be paid the lower wage. Others have not had to be interviewed or do tests and therefore retained their current salaries. Some have new job titles but again have not had to jump through hoops! If salary is apportioned purely on tests and interview scores then surely everyone in the company should be re--interviewed the same way? It may be legal but it's not moral, and is so demotivating.
rosie - 12-Apr-16 @ 12:22 AM
Annonymous - Your Question:
I was being heavily bullied by a senior company accountant, to the point that he would swear, curse and threaten me. I took the matter to the company director as we didn't have an HR dept who said he would deal with it. It quietened down then started again a couple of months later and I contacted the director again and the same thing happened. An HR department was formed via a consultancy and still being insulted in front of office staff I took it to the HR consultant. She was very good and sympathised with me and suggested an informal meeting to resolve the issue. The day the meeting was set up the consultant whom I had provided evidence to was changed for a very anti-employee consultant HR woman. The level playing field meeting became an opportunity for the company accountant to tell me that he would not change his manner that he could not guarantee that he would not loose his temper and that he could not guarantee that he would not swear at me again. Further I receive a letter from the director which said that the company supported and understood the management style and supported it.To offset any issues a lesser accountant was put in place by the Director to "provide communications " between me an this person. I was also asked by the director what I wanted and I asked for training which he said I could have. later a document was written up which had provisos that I would have to pass the exams before the next training would be available.I asked if this was now my manager and I was told no I was still working for the aggressive financial controller. This was about 2 years ago and things were relatively peaceful apart form the accountant telling everyone that she was now my manager which I questioned HR about and was basically told 'tough' that they couldn't do anything about it.Then three months ago a worker on the factory floor was given some jobs to do that are in my job description and that I am responsible for to "stop us from loosing him". I was also prevented form being involved in some software projects which had also formed some of my workload. These little jobs filled In the time and I had less and less to do as my responsibilities were whittled away.This month I have been "Selected" as being made redundant "Supposedly at risk" because. the company does not require my position anymore an they will distribute it among other workers. The fact is that I feel that I have been set up for a fall by the financial controller.The person selecting the redundancies is the very same financial controller that I had to take to HR.Is there a case to be heard here for a potential unfair dismissal?

Our Response:
You would really have to give ACAS a call regarding this, as it would be more advisable to speak to someone directly in order to find out whether your company is acting within employment guidelines.
RedundancyExpert - 28-Oct-15 @ 12:25 PM
I was being heavily bullied by a senior company accountant, to the point that he would swear, curse and threaten me. I took the matter to the company director as we didn't have an HR dept who said he would deal with it. It quietened down then started again a couple of months later and I contacted the director again and the same thing happened. An HR department was formed via a consultancy and still being insulted in front of office staff I tookit to the HR consultant. She was very good and sympathised with me and suggested an informal meeting to resolve the issue. The day the meeting was set up the consultant whom I had provided evidence to was changed for a very anti-employee consultant HR woman. The level playing field meeting became an opportunity for the company accountant to tell me that he would not change his manner that he could not guarantee that he would not loose his temper and that he could not guarantee that he would not swear at me again. Further I receive a letter from the director which said that the company supported and understood the management style and supported it.To offset any issues a lesser accountant was put in place by the Director to "provide communications " between me an this person. I was also asked by the director what I wanted and I asked for training which he said I could have. later a document was written up which had provisos that I would have to pass the exams before the next training would be available. I asked if this was now my manager and I was told no I was still working for the aggressive financial controller. This was about 2 years ago and things were relatively peaceful apart form the accountant telling everyone that she was now my manager which I questioned HR about and was basically told 'tough' that they couldn't do anything about it. Then three months ago a worker on the factory floor was given some jobs to do that are in my job description and that I am responsible for to"stop us from loosing him". I was also prevented form being involved in some software projects which had also formed some of my workload. These little jobs filled In the time and I had less and less to do as my responsibilities were whittled away. This month I have been "Selected" as being made redundant "Supposedly at risk" because. the company does not require my position anymore an they will distribute it among other workers. The fact is that I feel that I have been set up for a fall by the financial controller. The person selecting the redundancies is the very same financial controller that I had to take to HR. Is there a case to be heard here for a potential unfair dismissal?
Annonymous - 27-Oct-15 @ 11:11 AM
I have been made redundant as my department never hit its sales figures so it was done away with. The issue I have is that we were never given the figure to meet and the managing director gave our services free to a large section of our customer base and has not taken that potential cost into consideration. In addition to this during the at risk part of the process and interim role was advertised which is basically my job function and then just before my final consultation another unqualified employee was tasked to actually do my job for a major client, this was explained as a work around. Compounding this is the fact that during my redundancy consultation my director sated that my redundancy terms would be based on full salary and not statutory as I had requested, but the MD refused to honour that agreement. I have also been offered work by my employer as I am setting up my own consultancy as a Ltd company and my director stated to me that he couldn't use me if I threatened legal action. So my question is were do I stand, I have been guaranteed statutory redundancy but feel I have been used and cheated
Steve - 3-Oct-15 @ 1:21 AM
Hi, My company are going to be making peole redundant soon, there people still in their probation period. Will the company have to let them go before they make people that have been working with them for over a year? Thanks
Gingerboy101 - 24-Dec-14 @ 8:09 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the RedundancyExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.