If you are made redundant but think the selection process was unfair, you can challenge the decision. Here we take a closer look at what that involves.
When can you challenge redundancy?
To be eligible for redundancy you need to have worked somewhere for two years or more, if you have there are several scenarios in which you could consider taking action:
- You think the redundancy is not genuine, for example your employer has recently taken on people to do similar work.
- The redundancy process wasn’t followed fairly, for example they didn’t explain how they would choose people.
- You were selected because you asked for a legal right, such as the minimum wage, or highlighted health and safety concerns. These are known as automatically unfair reasons and apply no matter how long you’ve worked somewhere.
- You were discriminated against, for example you were on maternity leave when you were made redundant.
Initially you should talk to your employer to express your concerns. You can take someone to support you in the meeting such as a trade union rep, or do this in writing if you prefer.
Starting an appeal
If talking to your employer doesn’t bring the resolution you need, you might want to take the next step and formally appeal the redundancy.
Your employer is likely to have a written appeals process which you can follow. If not, you can start the process by writing to them with the reasons you think the redundancy is unfair. You can use the Acas letter template to help you do this.
You should send this letter within a reasonable number of days after being told of your redundancy. This is likely to lead to an appeal meeting which, again, you may want to take someone with you to provide support.
If this doesn’t move the process along as you’d hope you can get in touch with Acas which provides free mediation between you and your employer. You need to do this within three months minus one day of being made redundant. They will take you through early conciliation and try to find a solution.
Even if you think there is little chance you’ll come to an agreement, you must go through this stage before moving on to a tribunal, and have an early conciliation certificate to prove it.
Taking your employer to tribunal
This is the final step if you and your employer cannot come to an agreement. As well as contesting a redundancy, you can take an employer to tribunal if they fail to make your redundancy payments or you disagree on the amount.
Before a tribunal, a judge will decide if you have a good enough case to prevent unmerited claims going forward. Before going ahead, you should reflect on the evidence you have to back up your claim. Do you have a reasonable chance of success?
Even if you have a strong claim you should consider whether going through the tribunal process is worth the time and money you may have to spend on it. Although it is free to make a claim to an employment tribunal, you may require legal representation which you will probably have to pay for.
It’s also worth considering your former employer’s ability to pay compensation, outstanding redundancy payments or your legal costs, if you win. If they are a small or struggling company they may not be able to, which would mean there is little point in taking action.
At a tribunal three people will usually hear your case, they’re known as the tribunal panel. They consist of an employment judge who will run proceedings and representatives from an employer’s organisation and an employee’s organisation. Evidence will be taken under oath, before a judgement is made.
Easing financial anxiety
Being made redundant and going through an appeal process is an unsettling experience. On top of this you may also be feeling anxiety caused by the financial insecurity of losing your job, even if you are given a redundancy payout.
One option to help ease those worries is to sell you home. If you own a significant proportion of it without a mortgage, this will give you a handy sum to help you until you’re back in work. Any costly mortgage payments you have will also stop.
If you decide this is the right way forward for you, we can help. We specialise in buying homes quickly, in just seven days if necessary, and are experienced at dealing sensitively with challenging home selling situations.
We aim to make the process as hassle free as possible for you, which is why we instruct and pay for solicitors. And because we buy homes using our own cash, we do not use estate agents so you don’t have to pay their fees. In fact, our service is completely free.
To find out more about how we could help you, please get in touch.