An eligible employee (see rights of redundant employees) can claim unfair dismissal if they feel you:
- have unfairly selected them for redundancy or incorrectly applied the selection criteria
- failed to offer suitable alternative work where it was available
- didn't follow the proper consultation process
Employees may also be able to claim a protective award if you fail to properly consult with their representatives, ie trade union or elected employee representatives in collective redundancy situations.
Unfair redundancy selection
An employee will have been automatically unfairly dismissed if you select them for redundancy for certain reasons eg involving discrimination or whistleblowing. If you select the employee for redundancy for any of these reasons, they will be able to make an unfair dismissal claim regardless of how long they have been in your employment.
Failure to properly consult
If you fail to properly carry out collective redundancy consultation, a complaint may be made to an Industrial Tribunal by:
- a trade union or elected employee representatives
- individual employees who have been dismissed as redundant where there is no recognised trade union and the employees have chosen not to elect employee representatives
The tribunal may award up to 90 days' pay to each affected employee.
The Department for the Economy (DfE) may also prosecute you for failure to notify the proposed redundancies in advance.
The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) redundancy webinar provides useful information on the topic of redundancy and how to ensure the redundancy process is managed fairly and in line with employment legislation.
If you require further information or advice, you can call DfE's Redundancy Payments Service on Tel 0800 585 811 or email email@example.com.
For more information contact the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) Helpline on Tel 03300 555 300.