Coronavirus and Redundancy - Your Rights

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If you have lost your job due to Covid-19, or fear that you may face redundancy soon due to the worsening economy following the pandemic, Thompsons is here to offer guidance on your rights.

It is now clear that businesses who made employees redundant after 1 March 2020 were permitted to re-employ them and place them on furlough. Employers were also able to claim backdated wages through the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

If your employment was affected by the coronavirus situation, you can Talk to Thompsons today.

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My company has gone into administration/liquidation and we have all been made redundant.

If you have lost your job because your company has closed down, you will be able to claim various types of payment from the National Insurance Fund e.g. statutory redundancy pay, pay for loss of notice, accrued but untaken holidays, and unpaid wages. You can claim these payments easily without the help of a solicitor. It is the role of the administrator or liquidator to assist you with this.

In addition, you might also be eligible for a further payment called a protective award if you were one of 20 or more employees made redundant from the same workplace without consultation. This could secure you an additional eight weeks' pay.

You may need the help of an employment solicitor to claim a protective award as you will need to go through the Employment Tribunal.

My company has made me redundant. How much compensation am I owed?

The company has a legal obligation to pay you for your notice period, any unused holidays, and any days worked in the latest payment period. If you worked with your employer for two years or more, you are also entitled to statutory redundancy pay:

  • Half week's pay for each full year you were under 22
  • One week's pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
  • One and a half week's pay for each full year you were 41 or older

The amount of a week's pay for the purposes of statutory redundancy is capped at £538. Redundancy payments under £30,000 can usually be paid without the deduction of income tax. 

You may be entitled to receive a contractual redundancy payment as a result of a provision in your contract of employment, however not all contracts of employment include this. 

If your employer refuses to pay, you can make a claim in the Employment Tribunal and force the company to pay you. You may require the assistance of an employment solicitor.

What is unfair dismissal?

Employees who are dismissed and who have over two years' continuous service with their employer have a legal right not to be unfairly dismissed. Generally, an employer must do everything they can to avoid dismissal.

Dismissal as a result of redundancy is lawful when there has been a genuine reason for the redundancy and a proper process has been followed. A genuine reason for redundancy requires that work of a particular kind has diminished so that an employee has become surplus to requirements.

Unfair dismissal employment tribunal

An employment tribunal assessing the fairness of a dismissal through redundancy will seek to establish whether the employer acted reasonably in treating the prevailing circumstances as a sufficient reason for dismissing an employee. It will consider the size and the resources of that particular employer. Larger businesses with more resources are therefore expected to go further in seeking alternatives to dismissal.

Unfair dismissal during the COVID-19 pandemic

An employee who would have considered being furloughed as an alternative to being dismissed may have a compelling reason to appeal an employer's decision to dismiss them as the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided an alternative to dismissal and if at all possible, employers should have explored this as an alternative before making redundancies.

What should I do next?

If you were dismissed in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and you would have accepted being furloughed, then you should Talk to Thompsons about your options. 

Talk to Thompsons

If you are concerned about the handling of your redundancy as a result of coronavirus, you can talk to us today. We are here to provide all the information and support you need to ensure your employment law rights have not been breached.

Talk to Thompsons by calling 0800 0891 331. Or get in touch with us via our online contact form by clicking on the green button below. We are here to help.

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