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All you need to know about redundancy

Find out about your rights and entitlements


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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Losing your job is tough, and it can be particularly hard if it happens through no fault of your own. Unfortunately, there will always be cases where businesses close or have to reduce their staff. In these cases, employees can be made redundant, meaning that their job has ceased to exist and they therefore won’t be replaced.

Redundancies can be collective, when a number of employees are made redundant in a 30-day period, or voluntary, where a company needs to cut jobs and asks for workers to volunteer theirs.

Redundancy vs Dismissal

Being made redundant is different from getting dismissed (“fired”). In a redundancy, your job has ceased to exist, while being dismissed means your employer intends to replace you with someone else. Head over to our article on Getting Fired if you think it’s more suited to your situation.

Reasons for redundancies

Redundancy can occur for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • Your employer is shutting down or moving location and no longer has any jobs to offer.
  • Your employer no longer needs people doing your type of work.
  • Your employer is reorganising the company with fewer staff or none at all.
  • Your employer is changing the way your work is to be done and you’re no longer qualified to carry it out in the new way.
  • Your employer is combining your job with another set of tasks you aren’t qualified to do.

What are my rights?

If your job is being made redundant you have certain entitlements if you’ve worked for the employer for a certain amount of time. These are redundancy payments and redundancy notice. You are entitled to at least two weeks’ notice of redundancy, and more if you’ve been working with the company for over two years.

In order to qualify for a redundancy payment, you must have worked continuously for your employer for at least 104 weeks while you were over the age of 16. This can be part-time or full-time work. Full-time employees must have been making Class A PRSI payments (the most common kind of PRSI). You are also entitled to any outstanding pay, including holiday pay for time off you’ve earned but not yet taken.

You should receive the pay owed to you from your employer on the day you officially become redundant. If you don’t, use this RP77 form to apply for what you're owed. If your employer is refusing to pay, you can apply to the Social Insurance Fund using this online RP50 form from the Department of Social Protection.

Unfair redundancy

If you believe you have been made redundant for unfair reasons, you can make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission via their website. If you’re a member of a trade union, you should talk to your union representative before taking this step. You can’t make a complaint and claim the redundancy payment.

Your redundancy may be unfair if any of the following is true:

  • The terms laid out in your contract were not followed.
  • Your workplace procedures, such as first in last out, were not followed.
  • You were unfairly selected for reasons such as pregnancy, trade unionism or political beliefs.
  • You were made redundant because of your gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, religious belief, race, sexual orientation or membership of the Traveller community (all of which would be considered discrimination).
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Published September 12th, 2016
Tags work rights unemployed unemployment
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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