Unfair Dismissal Redundancy

Unfair dismissal is a prominent issue in UK employment law, and when it intersects with redundancy, it introduces additional complexities. Redundancy-related dismissals must adhere to specific legal criteria to be considered fair and lawful. This article delves into the intricacies of unfair dismissal in the context of redundancy, exploring the legal framework, key principles, and considerations that employers must bear in mind when navigating this challenging terrain.

Legal Framework
The legal foundation for unfair dismissal in redundancy situations is primarily laid out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 in the United Kingdom. This legislation sets forth the rights of employees not to be unfairly dismissed and outlines the criteria for fair dismissals, including those related to redundancy. Employers must navigate this legal framework to ensure compliance and fairness when making employees redundant.

Genuine Redundancy
For a redundancy dismissal to be fair, it must meet the definition of "genuine redundancy." This typically occurs when the employer's business undergoes a significant restructuring, closes, or no longer requires employees to perform particular work. Redundancy may also arise due to the relocation of the business or a decrease in the demand for certain services or products.

Fair Selection Criteria
Employers must follow fair and objective selection criteria when choosing which employees to make redundant. Common criteria include skills, qualifications, performance, and length of service. The selection process should be transparent, non-discriminatory, and communicated clearly to affected employees, minimising the risk of an unfair dismissal claim.

Consultation Requirements
An essential aspect of redundancy dismissals is the requirement for consultation. Employers are obligated to consult with affected employees regarding the redundancy situation, providing them with an opportunity to express their views, ask questions, and propose alternatives. Failing to conduct meaningful consultation may render the dismissal unfair.

Alternative Employment
Employers should explore alternative employment opportunities for employees at risk of redundancy. This involves considering available roles within the organisation and offering suitable positions to affected employees where feasible. A failure to consider and offer alternative employment may impact the fairness of the redundancy dismissal.

Statutory Redundancy Payments
Employees who are made redundant may be entitled to statutory redundancy payments. These payments are calculated based on the employee's age, length of service, and weekly gross pay, providing financial support during the transition period. Employers must ensure compliance with statutory redundancy payment obligations to avoid unfair dismissal claims.

Unfair Dismissal Claims
Employees who believe they have been unfairly dismissed due to redundancy can bring a claim before an employment tribunal. Tribunals assess the fairness of the redundancy process, including the selection criteria, consultation procedures, and efforts made to identify alternative employment opportunities. Employers must be prepared to demonstrate the fairness and legitimacy of the redundancy to defend against such claims.

Navigating unfair dismissal in the context of redundancy demands a comprehensive understanding of the legal framework and adherence to fair procedures. Employers must approach redundancy situations with sensitivity, ensuring transparent selection criteria, meaningful consultation, and efforts to identify alternative employment opportunities. By following these principles, employers can mitigate the risk of unfair dismissal claims and navigate redundancy scenarios in a manner that upholds the principles of justice and fairness in the workplace.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law


    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.