watch mechanism

I get asked this by prospective clients a lot. The other variation is “How does it work”?  I’m talking of course about the employee who has just been told they (or more correctly) their job is to be made redundant.

The usual scenario is that is an employee will have been told their role is to be made redundant and they are put in the consultation period and sent home. The employee is usually either bemused, angry or, occasionally, rather pleased. They need advice on the procedure that will follow and how they can get on with their lives.  That’s where I can help.

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When Do Enhanced Redundancy Payments Become Contractual?

Employment law may be a creature of statute, but much of it is also founded on contract. What the parties said or understood to be the case about a given issue is often at the heart of much ET and court litigation. A good example of this was provided in the recent case of Park Cakes v Shumba & Ors in the Court of Appeal.

It was a case about enhanced redundancy payments, with the employees arguing that they should have received a lump sum of £600 and a payment of two weeks salary per year of service upon their redundancy. The business did not make the payments to these particular employees on the basis that they were not contractually obliged to do so.  In other words, the payments were said to be discretionary.

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Redundancy – Problem or Opportunity?

Guest Post by Rachel Brushfield of Energise – The Talent Liberation Company

Man on type rope above city stress

How are you feeling about the ‘R’ word?


I was made redundant in the late 80’s. It felt very stressful at the time, but a problem became an opportunity as it was the beginning of my career going in a direction that was more true to me. I used my redundancy money to pay off my debts and have porcelain veneers put on my discoloured teeth, so redundancy ironically helped put the smile back on my face!

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Collective Redundancy: What will be the effect of the Usdaw case?



Although the Judgment has not yet been published, it seems there has been a major change to the law following the case of USDAW and others v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (in Liquidation) and another ET/3201156/10 and others heard recently by the EAT, at least according to a press release by Slater & Gordon solicitors, who acted for the Claimants.

The law on collective redundancy is contained in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and s.188(1) requires employers to collectively consult where they propose to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees within the one establishment in a period of 90 days.  It has always been slightly unclear what constitutes an establishment but this recent ruling suggests that that lack of clarity may no longer matter.

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Redundancy for New Mothers on the Rise?

Guest Post


A new survey carried out by research company OnePoll suggests that pregnant women and new mothers could be being discriminated against by employers looking to lay off staff.

One thousand women were questioned as part of the research, and their answers reveal a problem that appears to be escalating. Pre-recession, it was estimated that 30,000 women per year were losing their job unfairly as a direct result of their pregnancy. It is thought that this figure is likely to be much higher now.

The responses revealed that:

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The Grass Can Be Greener after Redundancy

Guest Post


The redundancy threat has got employees trembling at their desks. In the UK, after three years of recession, job security feels like a distant dream. The 24/7, ‘living to work’ culture has become worse, meaning that we labour harder for less pay, and sacrifice our family life for career progression. This is neither sane, nor healthy, but someone’s got to bring home the bacon.

If you’ve been made redundant, you’re probably experiencing a smorgasbord of emotion, from anxiety to depression. On the one hand, you’re concerned that you won’t be able to pay the bills, and on the other, you’re feeling like you’ve been thrown on the rubbish heap. Right now, there’s one resounding question in your mind: why me?

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Redundancy Consultation Period Takes a Hair Cut


Announcements from the Government on employment law reform come through thick and fast these days – one a week it seems – and in this week when everyone is considering  how many mega-calories they will be consuming over the next seven days, it is collective consultation periods in redundancy programmes that has hit the (employment law) headlines.

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When are Enhanced Redundancy Payments Contractually Binding?

Contractually Bound?

The simple answer is when they say they are. Probably. What if the payments are said to be discretionary or nothing at all is said about their status?  Why does it matter anyway?

Statutory Redundancy Pay (SRP) is not especially generous:  up to £430 per complete year of service up to a maximum of twenty years employment for most people.  For those over 41 years of age they are entitled to a maximum of £645 per year.  This means that the theoretical maximum amount of SRP is £12,900, plus whatever notice pay the employee may be contractually entitled to.

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No Consultation Always Equals Unfair Dismissal?

Can a redundancy without any warning or consultation ever be a fair dismissal?

In most cases the result will be an unfair dismissal.  However, in the case of Ashby v JJB Sports PLC the employer was held to have acted fairly in not warning or consulting Mr Ashby about his redundancy.

The facts were fairly specific so most employers would be well advised not to try and rely on this case.

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Dealing with Redundancy


Being made redundant is undoubtedly a difficult and distressing time. Many people often feel unsupported and alone when trying to navigate through the process of identifying a possible alternative to replace lost income and work.

However it’s important to know that you’re far from powerless in the face of redundancy and in fact there’s plenty you can do to fight your corner.

Your legal rights

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