If you’re an employee being made redundant, by law your employer must:
- tell you a minimum amount of time in advance (give notice)
- keep paying you until you leave your job
- give redundancy pay, if you have the right to it
Your employer should put the details of your redundancy in writing.
You’ll usually carry on working until the end of your notice. How much notice you get depends on how long you’ve worked for the employer.
How much redundancy notice you get
How much notice your employer must give depends on how long you’ve been working for them.
You’re entitled to statutory notice if you’ve been working for your employer for more than a month. Your employer can give you more than the statutory notice, but they can not give you less.
|Time you’ve worked for your employer||Minimum notice they must give you|
One month up to 2 years
Between 2 and 12 years
One week per year
12 years or more
When the notice period starts
It’s a good idea to check your contract as it might say when a redundancy notice period starts.
If your employer gives you redundancy notice in person, your notice period should start from the next day.
If you’re given the notice by email or post, your notice period should start when you’ve had time to read it.
For example, if you’re told in a letter sent by registered post, your notice might start the day after you’ve received it so you’ve had time to read it.
Pay during your notice period
You’re entitled to the same pay you’d normally get if you work your notice period.
If you’re off work
Depending on your employer’s notice period, you might not be entitled to full pay during your notice period if you’re:
- on holiday (annual leave)
- on sick leave
- on maternity, paternity or adoption leave
- temporarily laid off or on short-time working
You're entitled to full pay if either:
- your employer’s notice period is the legal minimum
- your employer’s notice period is 1 to 6 days longer than the legal minimum
You're not entitled to full pay if:
- your employer's notice period is 1 or more weeks longer than the legal minimum
Check your contract or talk to your employer to find out how much you’ll be paid.
Payment in lieu of notice
Your employer can give you ‘payment in lieu of notice’ if it’s in your contract. This means you get paid instead of working your redundancy notice period.
If you get payment in lieu you should get full pay and any extras that are in your contract, for example pension contributions.
Your employer can offer you payment in lieu of notice even if it is not in your contract. If you accept you should get full pay and anything else included in your contract.
Leaving during your notice period
You can ask your employer if you can leave before your notice period ends, for example if you have another job to go to.
You must get their agreement – if not they may consider that you’ve resigned and you could lose your eligibility for redundancy pay. Make sure you get the agreement in writing.
If they agree you can leave early your employer does not have to pay you for the rest of your notice period. You still get the same redundancy pay.
If your employer says you do not have to be at work (known as ‘garden leave’) you must get paid as usual during your notice period.
They can ask you to take any unused holiday during your garden leave.
If you’re still not sure
It’s a good idea to talk with your employer if there’s any part of your redundancy notice you’re not sure about.
For example, if you’ve not received the details of your notice in writing, you could ask your employer to put in writing:
- the length of your notice period
- the date your notice period starts
- if you can leave before the end of your notice period
- if you need to take any unused holiday before you leave
- if you’ll still get contractual benefits, for example a fuel card or mobile phone, during your notice period