What is redundancy?

Last updated: 17 Jun 2021

A redundancy situation is where the employer requires fewer employees or there is a closing workplace.

This could be where:

  • there is a complete closure of a business or organisation
  • there is a closure of a particular workplace or site
  • the employer’s need for employees doing particular work has ceased entirely, or
  • the employer decides to reduce the number of employees doing a particular job.

In addressing whether there is a redundancy situation, the tribunal has to consider the employer’s requirements for someone to do the job the employee was employed to do.

The fact that the work may still exist is not necessarily the issue, but rather whether the employer decides to have it done.

Where the work continues to be done but is shared out between other employees there can still be a redundancy situation, because there will be a need for fewer employees.

Fixed-term contracts

When a fixed-term contract comes to an end it will be a redundancy if the reason for the non-renewal of the contract is that there is no longer any need for an employee to do that work.

For example, the end of a one-off project would be a redundancy situation, but if a maternity leave locum post comes to an end it would not be a redundancy situation because there is no reduction in the requirement for an employee.

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