How your employer must consult - Your rights during redundancy

How your employer must consult

If your employer is proposing to make 20 or more redundancies, they must hold collective consultation.

If your employer is proposing to make fewer than 20 redundancies, they should consult with you individually.

If you have any questions about redundancy consultations, you can contact the Acas helpline.

Find out more about when consultation is legally required

What to discuss at the consultation

The consultation is a chance for your employer to talk about the changes they're proposing 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 should do

Your employer should 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 fewer than 20 redundancies

Your employer should consult you individually before finalising any redundancies.

By law there are no rules about how long individual consultation lasts. But you should check if your employer has a policy or agreement about this. You do not need to reach an agreement with your employer before individual consultation ends.

During individual consultation, your employer should hold a meeting with you in private at least once.

Check your employment contract as it might include additional consultation rights.

You can ask your employer if you can bring someone with you to your meeting. Your employer might not agree to this, but you could explain why a companion might help you. For example, they could:

  • give you support
  • be a neutral person to observe
  • speak for you if needed

If there are 20 or more redundancies

By law, employers must hold collective consultation where all of the following apply:

  • they're proposing 20 or more redundancies
  • the redundancies are in one establishment – not necessarily in the organisation as a whole, which may be much larger
  • they propose to make the redundancies within 90 days

Employers should also consult with employees 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, for example as part of an information and consultation agreement.

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 propose to select employees for redundancy
  • how they propose 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

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