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Fair redundancy process

This advice applies to Scotland

Your employer has to follow a fair redundancy process if you’ll have worked for them for at least 2 years by the time your job ends.

You should be invited to at least 1 individual meeting with your employer to discuss redundancy.

Apart from your individual meeting there isn’t a set process. Your employer still needs to have a clear process, but there are no rules about what it should be.

If you’ve worked for your employer for less than 2 years your employer doesn’t need a redundancy process and doesn’t have to meet you individually. It’s worth checking if they have a process anyway, so you know what to expect.

You should still check that your redundancy is fair, as there are other rules your employer must follow.

Check your employer’s process

You might find your employer’s process in your contract or staff handbook, or it might be a process they’ve used for previous redundancies. If your employer’s process isn’t written anywhere, they have to make sure you know what process they’re going to follow.

The process has to explain:

  • how they’ll choose people for redundancy
  • how long the decision will take
  • what meetings you can go to and when
  • how you can appeal if you’re chosen for redundancy

Usually your employer has to follow their process, but they can do things differently if they have a good reason. For example, if they say they’ll meet you at a certain time, but your manager is off sick, they can rearrange the meeting.

Meeting your employer to discuss redundancy

Your employer has to meet you individually at least once before they tell you their final redundancy decision. At this meeting you should get to discuss:

  • why they need to make redundancies
  • why they’re considering you for redundancy
  • what other jobs are available
  • any questions you have about what happens next

The meeting is a chance to explain why you shouldn’t be made redundant. Tell them if you don’t think they’re following their process properly or if they’ve chosen you unfairly.

It’s best to discuss unfairness now rather than waiting until your employer has made a final decision. By speaking to them early on you might persuade them not to make you redundant.

Your employer might let you bring someone with you to your redundancy meetings - for example someone from your union or HR. It can be helpful to have someone there to take notes and support you. If this isn’t mentioned in your redundancy process, ask your employer if you can bring someone.

If you’re made redundant on holiday or sick leave

You can be made redundant, but your employer still has to meet you individually before making their decision. This usually means they should wait until you return to work.

If you’re made redundant on maternity leave

You can be made redundant, but your employer still has to meet you individually before making their decision. 

Your employer should arrange a meeting at a time and place that’s easy for you, or agree to call you if you don’t want to come to a meeting. You might be able to use one of your keeping in touch days so you’re paid for your time.

Your employer should talk to you at around the same time as anyone else they’re considering for redundancy. If they tell everyone else earlier than you, this could be maternity discrimination and you might be able to challenge your redundancy

If your employer doesn’t follow their process

Your redundancy could be unfair if your employer:

  • doesn’t have a process
  • doesn’t meet you individually
  • only meets you to tell you they’re making you redundant
  • has a process that doesn’t contain enough information
  • has a process but doesn’t follow it - unless they have a good reason to do things differently

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you think your employer's process is unfair. You might be able to challenge your redundancy.

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