No one wants to face redundancy, and at GMB we will always fight tooth and nail for every single one of our member’s jobs but if you end up in that situation, you’re not on your own. Get in touch with your GMB rep in your workplace or your GMB region, we’re here to help. 

Redundancy rights

Redundancy is a form of dismissal. There are many reasons for redundancy. Redundancies could happen, for example, if your company is not making enough money so the boss has to lay some people off.  In public services, funding cuts may mean that there isn’t enough money in the budget so job losses occur. Or it could be something like a company restructure, where it is decided certain posts or skills are no longer needed. 

Redundancies are not inevitable, and GMB will always fight to protect our member's jobs, but where they do happen we can help to make sure you get the best possible deal. You should get in touch with your rep or GMB region as soon as you hear about any possibility of redundancies being planned.


My employer is making redundancies, what should I do?

Contact GMB immediately. GMB may be able to campaign to stop redundancies, but where they do happen you have the union on your side to make sure you are treated fairly and get the best deal possible if the worst happens. 

What are my rights if my employer wants to make me redundant?

You should contact your GMB rep or region if you are in this situation – you should not try to go it alone. There are a number of rights you are entitled to, but GMB never wants to settle for the minimum – we want to make sure you get the best deal possible. 

Generally, if you have been working for at least 2 years continuously for your employer, then your employer has to:

  • show why they believe it is reasonable to dismiss you   
  • meet with you individually to discuss it
  • have a process of selecting you for redundancy, and explain to you how it works, how long it takes, what meetings you will need to be in and when, and how you can appeal the decision. 
  • give a notice period
  • at the very minimum, ensure you get statutory redundancy pay 
  • give you time off to look for another job or undertake training to help you find another job

If you think your employer’s reason for making you redundant is not genuine, or the process not fair, then you could claim unfair dismissal. You should contact GMB straight away if this is the case.


My employer announced redundancies - don’t they have to consult with the workforce?

If your employer is contemplating making 20 or more people redundant then they must consult with a recognised Trade Union. If there is no recognised union at your workplace then the employer should consult an elected group of workers, specifically elected for this purpose. If you’re in this situation, get in touch with GMB because this can be a complicated area of employment law with a lot of deadlines and policies depending on the number of redundancies that are being planned.  

I am on maternity leave. Can my employer make me redundant?

Your employer can make redundancies while you are on maternity leave, but you cannot be made redundant because you are on maternity leave. If your post becomes redundant while you are on maternity leave, you must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, which you do not have to interview for and your employer must consult with you about the possible redundancy. If you do not accept a suitable vacancy, your employer can make you redundant. 

If there is no suitable alternative vacancy, and your post really is redundant – for example a business is closing and the post no longer exists – your employer can make you redundant during maternity leave, but your redundancy can never be directly linked to your pregnancy or maternity leave and a fair process should be followed. Not doing so could lead to a claim of unfair dismissal. 


How much redundancy pay should I get?

There is a basic minimum redundancy people are entitled to, but GMB will always try to get more than the minimum settlement for our members.

If you have been employed for 2 years or more with your employer, you are entitled to different amounts based on age:

  • Under 22 - half a weeks’ pay for every year of service
  • Between 22 - 41 - a full weeks’ pay for every year of service
  • Over 41 - a week and a half pay for every year of service

As of April 2018, the weeks pay that any statutory redundancy is based on is capped, presently at £508 but that doesn’t mean extra redundancy payments cannot be negotiated - this is something you should speak to GMB about. 

It’s important to know, you are not entitled to redundancy if you are offered an equivalent post to the one you are in and you turn it down without a valid reason.

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