In these uncertain times, business sometimes need to reduce their workforce and, as a consequence, you could find yourself in a redundancy situation.
Aberdein Considine is one of Scotland's leading law firms and our specialist team of employment lawyers can advise you of your rights if you face being made redundant.
If you are facing redundancy, you have a number of rights that your employer must respect during the process.
In order to dismiss you fairly by reason of redundancy, your employer must show that there was a genuine redundancy situation, that you were fairly selected and that a fair redundancy process was followed.
If those requirements are not met then the dismissal may be unfair and you, as long as you have two years’ qualifying service, will be able to claim unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.
There are also certain circumstances in which a redundancy dismissal may be 'automatically unfair' in which case a claim can be made without the need for two years’ service.
This would generally occur if an employee was selected for redundancy because they were selected for an inadmissible reason such as pregnancy or because they tried to exercise a statutory right.
For more information on your rights during a redundancy process, read our online guide.
You may be entitled to a contractual redundancy payment, depending on the terms of your contract or your employer’s redundancy policy. If you have more than two years’ service you will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.
The amount is based a multiplier of weeks' pay depending on your age and length of service.
For more information on how redundancy pay is calculated, read our online guide.
A settlement agreement is essentially a way for you and your employer to ‘part company’ on certain agreed terms.
Under the terms, you will waive (or give up) your right to bring any claims against your employer. Settlement agreements can also be used to terminate your employment and can settle an ongoing claim you are bringing in a court or employment tribunal. Usually it contains some additional obligations, conditions for payment of termination payments and other termination arrangements.
It is a binding agreement, you won’t be able to bring any claims against your employer and you will normally have undertaken some post termination obligations (such as confidentiality).You don’t have to sign it unless you agree, there is often scope for negotiating terms and ultimately you can refuse to sign and bring a claim instead. The terms of a settlement must be agreed by both parties and a solicitor will be able to advise you about what would be reasonable in your circumstances.
By law, you need to take legal advice and a settlement agreement is only valid if you have taken independent legal advice as to its terms. Although you are responsible for your solicitor’s fees, employers normally agree to make a contribution.
More information on settlement agreements is available in our online guide.
As an independent financial adviser, Aberdein Considine can also help you arrange your finances following a redundancy event.
Our financial advisers can help you cushion the blow and avoid any potential pitfalls. They can help you with:
Click here to our guide to financial advice after redundancy.
Aberdein Considine is a specialist in all aspects of Employment Law. We have offices in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Perth, Stirling and Glasgow.
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