Redundancy Worries - Know Your Rights
Following the extension of the government’s furlough scheme, we are running a series of guest blogs looking into the issues this may cause Dorset residents. Here, Rovarn Wickremasinghe, Chief Officer from Citizens Advice Bridport, gives advice for people facing job uncertainty and possible redundancy.
The pandemic has resulted in job uncertainty and worry for many Dorset residents, with Citizens Advice across Dorset seeing a 25% increase in the number of people seeking help with employment-related issues since the start of lockdown on 23rd March.
The government’s furlough scheme, known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will continue until the end of March 2021. If your employer uses the scheme, you will be paid 80% of your normal pay up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, with employers paying your national insurance contributions and pension costs. Please visit the Citizens Advice website for up to date information.
Citizens Advice have helped people with a huge range of issues since lockdown, but we know that job uncertainty and redundancy are issues that are affecting so many people. The top employment enquiries are redundancy and pay and entitlements issues. Despite the extension to the furlough scheme, people are feeling worried and need advice.
The message is to seek help early on if you think you are at risk from redundancy. It’s important to know your rights and to ensure that you’re paid what you’re owed. Take a look at the redundancy check list, which lists seven key areas to consider if you’re concerned you may be at risk of redundancy.
Citizens Advice Redundancy Check List
- Check if your redundancy is fair. There are rules to protect you from being discriminated against, and for being picked for redundancy due to an unfair reason.
Examples of unfair reasons for redundancy can include being picked because you work part-time or you made a complaint about health and safety.
See check if your redundancy is fair for more information.
- Check how much redundancy pay you get. You’re entitled to statutory redundancy pay, which is the minimum the law says you’re entitled to, if you’ve been an employee for two years. The amount you will get depends on your age and how long you have worked for the company.
- Furloughed? Make sure you get 100% redundancy pay. If you were furloughed and then made redundant, your redundancy pay should be based on your normal wage. If you were paid 80% of your wages while on furlough, your redundancy pay should be based on your full wage.
- Check your notice period. If you’ve worked for your employer for at least a month you’re entitled to a paid statutory notice period. If you’ve worked there for more than a month but less than two years, you have to be given a week’s notice. For two years or more, it’s a week for each full year you have worked, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
- Check your holiday pay. You’ll be paid for any holiday you have left over when you leave. This should be at your normal rate’s pay, even if you were furloughed on 80% of your pay. You can ask to take holiday during your notice period, but it’s up to your employer to decide if you can take it then.
- You might be entitled to paid time off to look for work. If you’ve worked for your employer for two years at the end of your notice period, you’re likely to be entitled to ‘reasonable’ time off to apply for jobs or go on training. See preparing for after redundancy for more information.
- Check if you’ve got legal help via your home insurance. Often people get 'legal expenses cover' as part of their home insurance package, but many don't realise they can get free legal help to challenge their redundancy if they think it’s discriminatory or unfair. If you have a trade union at work, you could also contact them. Your union can help you work out if you’ve got a claim, and support you through the process.
Visit Citizens Advice’s pages on leaving a job for further information and advice.
Citizens Advice in Dorset have regional offices covering BCP (Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole) Bridport, Central, East Dorset and Purbeck. For free, confidential advice, contact Citizens Advice Dorset on 0800 144 8848 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.