With the majority of employees feeling nervous and uncertain around their long-term job security over the next 6-12 months, combined with the seemingly continual news of redundancies and a recession in the news, it is only right to be concerned about your job safety and rights as an employee when it comes to redundancy.
In our recent looking to the future survey, nervousness around job security is likely to be higher amongst those who have been furloughed, with around 40% feeling very nervous about long-term job security compared to those who have been working from home throughout the lockdown.
Can I be made redundant whilst on furlough?
Unfortunately the answer is yes. Whilst on furlough, though you are not working in your normal capacity you are still considered an employee of the business. Though this is unfortunate news, your rights surrounding redundancy are protected because of this status, meaning you are still entitled to redundancy pay, a paid notice period and any money your employer owes you.
Can I be redundant and still on furlough?
According to the government website you can be made redundant, but you can be re-employed and placed on furlough at 80% of your wages.
However, to be eligible for this you will now need to have previously been furloughed for a 3-week period at anytime between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. You can check government guidance to see whether you are eligible or get in touch with your employer.
What are my rights?
Your rights with being made redundant whilst on furlough should be the same as if you were working as normal.
Depending on how long you have been employed you will be entitled to a notice period, notice pay, redundancy pay and any holiday entitlement pay you are owed.
You will also be entitled to a consultation with your employer about why you are being made redundant and whether there are any alternative options for you within the business. If your employer is making more than 20 employees redundant at the same time however different collective redundancy rules will apply.
For more information about redundancy and collective redundancy rules visit the government website.
I feel like I have been unfairly dismissed. What should I do?
An employer should follow a fair and selective way of selecting you for redundancy which may include a first in last out policy, asking for volunteers, assessing disciplinary records and/or using a staff appraisal/ marking procedure to decide. It is important to remember your employer can make you redundant without following a selection process if they whole business is shutting down or if you are the only employee in your part of the organisation.
An unfair dismissal covers a range of factors outlined on the government website including gender, working patterns, disabilities, age and more. If you feel you have been unfairly dismissed you can learn your rights through Citizens Advice.
For more information about redundancy and your rights as an employee there are numerous trustworthy websites which are consistently being updated with the latest guidance, for ease of access we have linked these below.