Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal. Redundancy may arise in the following circumstances:
- Closure of business
- Closure of work place, or
- A diminishing need for employees to carry out work of a particular kind
Unfair or discriminatory redundancy: Dismissal for redundancy will be unfair if:
- The main reason for your dismissal was not redundancy but a reason which is not a “potentially fair” reason
- Although a redundancy situation exists you were selected for redundancy for a prohibited reason, meaning that your dismissal was automatically unfair
- Although a redundancy situation existed your dismissal was unreasonable because your employer did not follow a fair redundancy procedure:
- you were not warned and consulted about redundancy
- you were not consulted about the “redundancy pool” in which you were placed
- you were not consulted about the selection criteria
- the selection criteria were not objectively chosen and fairly applied, or
- if there is a union involved, the union’s view was not sought
- You have not been given the opportunity to apply for any alternative work which might be available
Redundancy during maternity leave: Employees on maternity leave are very highly protected. If you are made redundant during maternity leave you are entitled to redundancy pay as if you were not on maternity leave. You may also have a number of other potential claims including automatic unfair dismissal, ordinary unfair dismissal or pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
If a redundancy situation arises during your maternity leave and “it is not practicable by reason of redundancy” for your employer to continue to employ you under your existing contract, you are entitled to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy (where one is available) to start immediately after your existing contract ends.