Your rights during redundancy

How your employer must consult you

If you're an employee affected by redundancies, by law your employer must consult you. This is even if you're not at risk of redundancy yourself.

Your manager or the person leading the redundancy changes should arrange a private meeting with you. The meeting can take place on a phone or video call if you both agree to it and there's a clear need, for example when working remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

By law they must meet with you at least once. They might need to talk to you more than once to make sure they can respond to your suggestions or requests.

If you have any questions about redundancy consultations you can contact the Acas helpline. We can talk through your options and explain the risks and benefits of each, but we cannot give you legal advice.

What to discuss at the consultation

The consultation is a chance for your employer to talk about the changes they're planning and why you're at risk of redundancy.

You can ask them questions and make suggestions on how redundancies could be reduced or avoided altogether.

You could discuss:

  • ways to avoid or reduce redundancies
  • how people will be selected for redundancy
  • any issues you have with the process
  • time off to look for a new job or training
  • how the organisation can restructure or plan for the future

What your employer must do

Your employer must hold a genuine and meaningful consultation with you. This means they must:

  • listen to your ideas
  • try to come to an agreement with you

They do not have to agree to any ideas you suggest, but they should seriously consider them.

If there are more than 20 redundancies

If your employer is planning more than 20 redundancies at the same establishment within 90 days, by law they might need to hold collective consultation.

In collective consultation, as well as talking to you individually, your employer must also consult:

  • recognised trade union representatives
  • employee representatives, if there’s no recognised trade union

If employee representatives are needed

There may be employee representatives already in place as part of  an information and consultation agreement, for example.

If there are no employee representatives in place, your employer must arrange to elect them. If you’re affected by the redundancy, you have the right to vote for employee representatives or stand for election yourself.

What happens in collective consultation

In a collective consultation, your employer must tell you in writing:

  • why they need to make redundancies
  • which jobs are at risk
  • the number of roles affected
  • how they plan to select employees for redundancy
  • how they plan to carry out redundancies
  • how they’ll calculate redundancy pay
  • details of any agency workers they’re using

What trade union or employee representatives can do

Trade union or employee representatives represent you in the collective consultation with your employer.

They do this by:

  • telling you about the redundancy proposals and sharing information
  • asking you for your views, suggestions and any questions you may have
  • talking to other representatives and working out a collective staff response
  • meeting with your employer to discuss the staff response
  • engaging in open discussions to solve problems and reach agreements
  • telling you the outcome of the consultation

Find out more about collective consultation.

Last reviewed