Challenge your redundancy
You can challenge your redundancy if you:
- think there was an 'automatically unfair' reason for your redundancy
- think there was discrimination
If you have a genuine reason for challenging your redundancy, you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal or discrimination.
Contact your nearest Citizens Advice straight away if you’re considering challenging the fairness of your redundancy - an adviser can help you work out if you have a genuine claim.
Depending on why you've been dismissed, you might also be able to make a discrimination claim.
Speak to your employer
You should speak to your employer if you don’t think they’re following a fair redundancy process or you think you’ve been unfairly selected.
You could write a letter, explaining why you think your redundancy is unfair and asking them to reconsider their decision.
If you’re not comfortable speaking to your employer yourself, you can get help from organisations like a trade union.
If talking to your employer doesn't work
If your company has an appeals process, you can use it to formally appeal your redundancy. Check your intranet or staff handbook, or speak to HR to see what you need to do.
Start your appeal as soon as you can, as there's a time limit if you later want to take legal action. The first step to legal action is a process called 'early conciliation' - you need to start it within 3 months minus a day of the date your contract ends. If you're running out of time, you can start early conciliation even if your appeal hasn't finished.
Even if you win your appeal, returning to your job might not be the best outcome for you. For example, if might be better to leave with a good reference than stay in a job where you don't feel fairly treated.
Get help from Acas and early conciliation
If you can't solve the problem, you should contact Acas. It provides a free, impartial service to help you and your employer reach an agreement, so you don't have to start a tribunal claim.
Get in touch with Acas as soon as you can - or straight away if you've already been made redundant. The deadline is 3 months less a day from when you were made redundant.
They'll see if your employer will agree to a process called ‘early conciliation' - they'll help you talk to your employer and try to resolve the dispute without going to a tribunal.
You have to have notified Acas before you can make a claim to a tribunal.
Making a claim to an employment tribunal
Taking your employer to a tribunal is the final way you can challenge your redundancy.
Tribunals can be stressful, and you might not win your case.
You need to have:
already notified Acas
got an early conciliation certificate from Acas
Contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help deciding whether to take your employer to tribunal.
How the tribunal assesses if your redundancy is fair
The tribunal will look at whether:
there was a genuine need to make redundancies in your workplace
your employer followed a fair procedure for consulting the workforce and selecting people for redundancy
the decision to select you was fair
your employer made reasonable efforts to find you alternative employment elsewhere in the company
You’ll need to show the tribunal evidence that your employer didn’t follow the correct process or that it wasn’t a genuine redundancy.
Read more about how the tribunal will assess if your redundancy is unfair.
Contact your nearest Citizens Advice for advice about making a claim against your employer at an employment tribunal.