Redundancies and Protective Award
Employees have rights when it comes to redundancies, and in particular Protective Award.
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the country so far, not just regarding the death toll but also in respect of the economy and looming job losses (of which many will be unavoidable). As a result, many companies are now being forced to look at cost cutting, often viewing redundancy as the ‘easiest’ way to save costs.
This, however, does not change a company’s legal duty to consult properly and follow a strict process on redundancy. Unfortunately, we have already seen waves of redundancies throughout certain sectors, and we as a company have seen an increase in enquiries from groups of people affected by this. To no surprise at all, the reason given for the majority of the redundancies is COVID-19. Although it will obviously play a huge part in their decision making, it is not an acceptable excuse to not consult with staff. In the current climate, employers should be liaising and consulting with employees and even more so, if redundancies are being planned.
The Basis of a Protective Award Claim can be:
- If a group of 20 or more employees are made redundant in one go, then the employer must have consulted with them first.
- The consultation period should be at least 30 days (if below 100 employees are made redundant) or 45 days (if over 100 employees are made redundant).
- A claim must be made within 3 months (less a day) from the day you were dismissed.
If you are part of a group of colleagues who have been made redundant owing to the current pandemic, you could be in line to make a claim against your employer.