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Check if your redundancy is fair

This advice applies to England

You might be told you’re at risk of redundancy if your employer has one or more jobs they can’t afford or no longer need.

Your employer has a lot of freedom to choose who they make redundant, but there are still rules they have to follow.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you need help at any stage.

If you’re at risk of redundancy

No matter how long you’ve worked for your employer, there are 3 things you should do to see if your employer can make you redundant:

1. Check if your employer has discriminated

2. Check if you've been chosen for a fair reason

3. Make sure your employer holds a group consultation if they're making at least 20 people redundant 

If you've worked for your employer for at least 2 years

There are 3 more steps to look at if you’ll have worked for your employer for at least 2 years by the time your job ends:

1. Check that your redundancy is genuine

2. Make sure your employer follows a fair process

3. Know when your employer should offer you another job

Make sure you get your other redundancy rights

Whether or not your redundancy is fair, you should also check that you get your correct notice period.

If you’ll have been working for your employer for at least 2 years by the time you leave you should also get redundancy pay and paid time off to look for work.

Common issues

If you’re made redundant while pregnant or on maternity leave

Your redundancy is unfair if your pregnancy or maternity leave is part of why you’re made redundant. Check if your employer has discriminated if you think you’ve been made redundant because of your pregnancy or maternity leave.

If you’ll have been working for your employer for at least 2 years by the time you leave, check your right to be offered other work. You should be offered any suitable job your employer has, even if someone else might be more qualified.

If you're made redundant on sick leave

Your redundancy might not be fair if you’re made redundant while you’re off sick.

If your sickness is connected to a disability, check if your employer has discriminated.

If you’ll have been working for your employer for at least 2 years by the time you leave, make sure your employer has followed a fair process. Even if you’re off sick, they need to meet you individually before choosing you for redundancy

If you're made redundant on holiday

You can be made redundant while you’re on holiday.

If you’ll have been working for your employer for at least 2 years by the time you leave, make sure your employer has followed a fair process. Even if you’re on holiday, they need to meet you individually before choosing you for redundancy.

Your workplace closes or moves

You can be made redundant if the business closes down where you work. This is a genuine reason for redundancy. 

If you’ll have been working for your employer for at least 2 years by the time you leave your employer should see if they can offer you a different job. They should look for other jobs in any other places they work or in any other companies they own.

You can spend 4 weeks trying out any new job you're offered, before deciding if you'd rather take your redundancy pay.

If your employer offers you a job in another location but you don’t want to work there, check your options if your employer offers you another job.

If your workplace reorganises

You can be made redundant if your employer needs fewer people because they:

  • reorganised the business to make it more efficient
  • introduced new technology that does your job

You shouldn’t be made redundant if new technology means the same job is done differently. If you think your job still exists but your employer says you’re redundant, make sure your redundancy is genuine.

Your business is taken over (TUPE)

You won’t automatically be made redundant if the business you work for is taken over.

Your employment contract will continue and you’ll keep the same terms and conditions with your new employer.

This is called TUPE or a 'transfer of undertakings'.

You can be made redundant because of the transfer if your:

  • old employer makes you redundant before the transfer
  • new employer makes you redundant after the transfer

Your employer has to show that:

  • it’s a genuine redundancy (because there’s no longer any need for the work you were doing)
  • the transfer was not the only or main reason for your redundancy

TUPE can be complicated so contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re being made redundant because the business you work for has been taken over.

You might find yourself left in limbo if the new employer takes over and doesn’t give you any work. Speak to an adviser straight away if this is happening to you.

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