What is redundancy?

Redundancy occurs when your job is no longer needed, usually because:

  • Your employer needs to reduce their workforce
  • The business or site is closing down
  • There is no longer a need for your specific job or skill.

It is not a redundancy if:

  • You have been told you are being sacked, either for not doing your job well enough, or because of something you did wrong
  • Your employer immediately hires somebody else to do the same job in the same location.

If you are made redundant because of workforce cuts, and another existing employee takes over your job, it still counts as redundancy as long as there is a genuine reduction in the number of jobs overall.

It also counts as redundancy if your employer makes you redundant while hiring people to do the same job in another location – unless it was in your contract that you could move and do the job in the new location.

I’m being offered an alternative job instead of redundancy. Should I take it?

This is difficult, because the job may or may not be suitable for you. However, if you turn it down it can mean that you are not legally redundant. Some unscrupulous employers are using this rule as a means of avoiding paying redundancy settlements, so you need to take expert advice. Read more on the Trades Union Congress website.