Managing staff redundancies: step by step

Step 7: Give redundancy notice

You can only give an employee notice of redundancy once you've finished consulting everyone and gone through the selection process.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, employees still have the same employment rights, including notice of redundancy.

You should meet with each employee who’s been at risk of redundancy. It’s best to do this face to face, but if this is not possible, you should talk with them on a call.

You should allow them to be accompanied at the meeting.

For those selected for redundancy, you should also put the details of their redundancy in writing. This can be by letter or email.

You should include:

  • how they scored in the selection criteria and why they received that score
  • their notice period and leaving date
  • how much redundancy pay they'll get and how you calculated it
  • any other pay due to them, for example holiday pay
  • when and how you'll pay them
  • how they can appeal the redundancy decision

Employees may want to know how others have been scored. You should not share other employees’ scores. You could show how everyone scored overall, as long as you can keep it anonymous.

Download redundancy letter templates.

How much notice you should give

By law, there are minimum amounts of notice you must give (‘statutory notice periods’). Some contracts might have longer notice periods, but you cannot give less than the legal minimum.

The statutory notice period depends on how long the employee has worked for you. If they've worked for you for:

  • less than 1 month ⁠–⁠ no statutory notice
  • 1 month up to 2 years ⁠–⁠ statutory notice is 1 week
  • 2 to 12 years ⁠–⁠ statutory notice is 1 week for each complete year they worked
  • 12 years or more ⁠–⁠ statutory notice is 12 weeks

When the notice period starts

The employee’s notice period starts from the next day after you’ve told them.

You should tell employees directly to make sure they understand their notice period. This can be face to face or on a call. You should also put it in writing.

You should try to speak to the employee wherever possible. If it’s only possible to tell them by letter or email, then they must have a reasonable amount of time to read it before the notice period starts. If you send notice by letter, it’s a good idea to send it by recorded delivery.

Payment in lieu of notice (PILON)

The employee’s contract might allow payment instead (‘in lieu’) of working their notice (PILON).

This means the employee would stop working for you straight away.

If it's not in their contract, you can see if the employee agrees to payment in lieu of notice. You cannot force them to agree to it. If they do agree, you must give them full pay and any other contractual benefits for their notice period.

An employee could make a claim to an employment tribunal for breach of contract if they’re dismissed sooner than their notice ends.

If you’re considering payment in lieu of notice and it’s not in the contract, it’s a good idea to get legal advice.

Last reviewed