Redundancy & dismissal

ACAS defines redundancy as: ‘dismissal for a reason not related to the individual concerned or for a number of reasons all of which are not so related’.

Unfair dismissal can occur when:

  • your boss doesn’t have a fair reason for dismissing you (e.g. there is nothing wrong with your job performance)
  • your boss hasn’t followed the correct process for dismissal (for instance you haven’t received warnings or remedial training)
  • you have been dismissed for an automatically unfair reason (e.g. because you wanted to take maternity leave)

You do have a legal right not to be unfairly dismissed but the rules are complicated. They can be affected by circumstances such as age, gender, health and duration of employment.

If you are dismissed without warning, get advice as soon as possible.

Constructive dismissal

Sometimes enforced changes in the terms and conditions of your employment can be construed as “constructive” dismissal – a form of unfair dismissal.

  • For employees – if you’re dismissed without warning then you may have been unfairly dismissed. You may be able to seek reinstatement or compensation. You should get advice as soon as possible as there is a time limit for claims
  • For employers – if you are considering dismissing a member of staff (or making them redundant) it’s very important to get reliable legal advice before doing anything – get it wrong and it could cost you
  • For both – employment law is complex and changes frequently – make sure that any information you get is up-to-date (and from a reliable source)

ACAS Guidance

GOV.UK Guidance

Business Link (advice for employers)