Redundancy is not a reflection on you or your performance - if it was, you would be going through a disciplinary or dismissal process

Redundancy is a change in company circumstances that unfortunately impacts your role. Being made redundant can be a very emotional experience, even when it’s carried out fairly. 

You can be made redundant without the company running a selection process if:

  • your employer is closing down a whole operation in a company and making all the employees working in it redundant
  • you’re the only employee in your part of the organisation

You may be offered a different job if one is available. Where a team is reducing in size, you can also be asked to reapply for your own job but will not be redundant unless you are unsuccessful and until your employer makes you redundant.

Fair selection

Your employer has to apply a fair and objective way of selecting you for redundancy. They could select people by:

  • last in, first out (employees with the shortest length of service are selected first)
  • asking for volunteers (self-selection)
  • disciplinary records
  • staff appraisal markings, skills, qualifications and experience

Unfair selection

There are a number of reasons why you CANNOT be selected for redundancy

You cannot be selected for redundancy for a number of reasons including the following:

  • gender
  • marital status
  • sexual orientation
  • race
  • disability (including autism)
  • your membership or non-membership of a trade union
  • health and safety activities
  • working pattern, for example part-time or fixed-term employees
  • whistleblowing, for example making disclosures about your employer’s wrongdoing
  • taking part in lawful industrial action lasting 12 weeks or less
  • taking action on health and safety grounds

If you were selected for redundancy for any of the above reasons you may have a case for pursuing a claim for unfair or constructive dismissal.

If you are undertaking an apprenticeship, your training provider or the employer may help you to find another employer to complete your apprenticeship.


You are entitled to be consulted about the redundancy - this means your employer should speak to you about why you are being made redundant and any alternatives to redundancy

When more than 20 people are being made redundant, the process takes longer, and different rules apply.

‘Suitable alternative employment’ – Your employer may offer you another job as an alternative to being made redundant. If you turn down this offer you may lose your entitlement to statutory redundancy pay. Whether a job is suitable depends on:

  • how similar the work is to your current job
  • the terms of the job being offered
  • your skills, abilities and circumstances in relation to the job
  • the pay (including benefits), status, hours and location

If the company has a suitable alternative job and does not offer it to you, it could be ‘unfair dismissal’. You have the right to a 4-week trial period for any alternative employment you are offered, which can be extended if you need training. You also have the right to take time off for job hunting or training. See for details.

Redundancy Pay

You qualify for redundancy pay if you have a contract of employment and have been working for your employer for over 2 years. See for details.

Notice periods and pay

You must be given a notice period of at least:

  • one week’s notice if employed between one month and 2 years
  • one week’s notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years
  • 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more

Although your employment contract may offer more, you cannot be given less. You should be paid through this period or be paid in lieu of notice including any extra benefits in your contract such as pension contributions and private healthcare. 

Help finding a new job

The help you get will depend on where you live

In England - You can get help from the Job Centre Plus if you are made redundant. They can help you:

  • write CVs and find jobs
  • find information on benefits
  • find the right training and learn new skills
  • organise work trials (if you’re eligible)
  • get any extra help at work if you’re disabled, for example Access to Work

In Scotland – See My World of Work for details

In Wales – See Employment Support

In Northern Ireland - You can get redundancy information or seek help from a careers advisor

Other resources  on this website which can help include: preparing to look for work and applying for work.