Q&A - Can employer of 13 years get away with 4 year redundancy pay-out?

16/05/2011

Q:  I have worked my employer for 13 years and 4 years ago I was asked to move departments. Last week we were all told we could apply for voluntary redundancy in accordance with funding cuts. I applied and worked out my redundancy package based on my 13 years employment. My application was accepted but the pay-off details stated that I only received a payment based on the last 4 years. I queried this and was told that my contract changed when I moved departments and that is all I am entitled to. Is this correct? 

A:  Companies may have their own provisions within their contracts of employment or handbooks dealing with Employee redundancy entitlement.

In the absence of an Employer having their own provisions (and subject to certain professional exemptions), an Employee who has worked for their Employer for more than 2 years and is dismissed for redundancy is entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. The amount payable is based upon age, number of years employment up to a maximum of 20 years and pay (capped at £400 per week from 1 February 2011).

The issue here is with regards to the number of years employment. Continuous employment relates to uninterrupted employment with the same Employer rather than ongoing employment in a particular job or role within the Employer's business. Therefore, provided you have worked for your Employer for an unbroken period of 13 years, you are entitled to redundancy based upon this number of years employment, your age and pay.

If you wish to commence an Employment Tribunal claim, however, you are subject to strict time limits to start a claim. It is therefore advisable that you seek legal advice in such matters as early as possible.

Claire Parfitt

Claire Parfitt

Solicitor

Solicitor within our Civil Litigation team in Wrexham and Oswestry