What Rights Do I Have If I’ve Been Made Redundant During The Pandemic?

Employees are continuing to face the prospect of being made redundant amid the spread of COVID-19. Airlines have been hugely affected, with British Airways recently cutting 10,000 jobs and Flybe saying that the virus causes a significant part of its business going bust.

Over the past 6 months, the virus has hit businesses extremely hard. In fact, almost a 1/4 of all of Great Britain’s workforce is employed within industries where demand has completely disappeared due to the national lockdown and social distancing measures.

COVID-19 has caused widespread redundancies with many businesses warning that 1000’s of more jobs are being cut.

If you’re worried about the prospect of losing your job and based in Essex, then speak to THB Legal who will be able to advise you. They are an expert team of solicitors in Chelmsford and are now one of the largest legal firms in Essex and East Anglia.

Your Rights If You Lose Your Job

Let’s start off with a bit of bad news; there’s no legal framework in place that can stop your employer from sacking you. But there needs to be a fair reason for you losing your job such as your employer going out of business.

In this unfortunate situation, you should receive a redundancy payout. There may also be certain situations where your employer needs to downsize to save money. But, again, you should still receive a payout.

However, even if you have been genuinely made redundant and received a payout, it may be an unfair dismissal so you should seek legal advice, so you know where you stand.

If you lose your job as a result of something COVID-19 related, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. This is because you only have a 3-month period after your employment terminates to take legal action if you have the grounds to do so.

If you have been with your employer for 2 years or more, you have a legal right to claim for unfair dismissal. Your claim will then be taken to a tribunal where it will be determined whether your employer had reasonable grounds to let you go.

If you are put in the situation where you’ve lost your job, write to the employer informing them that you’re planning on taking them to an employment tribunal. But again, remember that you only have 3 months to do this and you may also have to pay for tribunal fees too.

Receiving A Redundancy Payout

If you’re employed in the UK, you’ll usually be entitled to redundancy money if you’ve been with your employer for more than 2 years. You’d receive 1/2 a week’s money for each year you were under 22 years old, 1 week’s money for each year you were older than 22 but younger than 41 years old and 1 and a 1/2 week’s money if you were older than 41 years old.

Your employer can’t pay you less than this minimum, but they could pay you more depending on what’s written in your contract. You might even get more money even if you haven’t been with your employer for less than 2 years.

If there is nothing mentioned in your contract or employment handbook about redundancy pay, then you should just assume that you’ll receive the legal minimum. But, if you’re unsure what your current situation is, then we recommend getting in touch with Citizens Advice; their support and advice is completely free.

Coping With Losing Your Job

It’s very important to speak to your friends and family who can support you during the redundancy process. The stress of working out your money and the pressure of staying financially afloat can take its toll on your mental health more than you think.

Although you may not think it’s especially important, looking after yourself is absolutely crucial and will support your overall wellbeing during a challenging time.

Try To See It As A New Opportunity

Losing your job can be very difficult, but it can help to try and see it in a positive light. We know this is easier said than done, but this can help. Maybe you’ve been unhappy in your job for quite some time, and you’ve been made redundant as a result of cost-cutting measures.

If so, then this is your chance to move on and do something new. After all, it can be difficult to leave a job you don’t like even if you don’t have to.

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