Redundancy Appeals and New Starters
Monday, March 30, 2020
Monday, March 30, 2020
Many employers rushed to make redundancies when businesses were first ordered to close down at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Redundancy is a fair reason for dismissal if it is handled fairly. Fair process includes consultation, the duty to consider suitable alternative employment (if any) and the payment of a Statutory Redundancy Payment. If the redundancy was unfair employees firstly need to contact ACAS’s Early Conciliation service and if the claim cannot be settled that way then a claim can be issued online in the Employment Tribunal. Whilst the Tribunal is still accepting claims, when it’s business as usual it takes 6 months to get to a hearing so when its business unusual where face to face hearings are currently not taking place at all, employees could be in for a long wait to resolve their claims.
In order for an employer to “furlough” an employee they must have been on the payroll on 28 February 2020. If the employee was made redundant after that date, we recommend that they appeal the redundancy and ask to be put back on payroll and furloughed. This may be an attractive solution for both employees and employers. The employee will receive 80% of their salary up to £2,500; the employer will have that cost reimbursed by HMRC and will also still have a workforce ready, willing and able to return to work once the pandemic is over.
Prospective new starters are in a rather unenviable position where they are not yet on their new employer’s payroll but who have signed a contract. The employer can end the relationship on contractual or stator notice. If the contract provides for a period of notice, say one month, then that period of notice must be given and paid. Beware though; most contracts contain a probationary clause with a shorter notice period during probation, commonly one week. If the contract is silent on notice then statutory minimum notice applies which is one week.
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