What is redundancy?

Redundancy is most commonly where you are dismissed from your job because the business requires fewer employees to carry out work of a particular kind.

Unlike other forms of dismissal, it is due to the needs of the business and is not because there is a specific issue with you.

Dismissals can be fair or unfair. However, as long as your employer follows the rules and doesn’t unfairly target you then it is unlikely that a tribunal will find that your redundancy dismissal amounted to an unfair dismissal.

Redundancy payments

If you have worked for your employer for at least two years you will (in most cases) be entitled to some form of redundancy payment.

The amount you get will depend on the length of time you have been in your job, your age and how much you earn.

If you qualify for a redundancy payment the minimum amount you will receive is calculated like this:

  • for each complete year of employment after your 41st birthday you should get one-and-a-half weeks’ pay;
  • for each complete year of employment after your 22nd birthday that is not covered by the previous paragraph you should get one week’s pay;
  • or every other complete year of employment not covered by either of the two previous paragraphs you should get half a week’s pay.

But you can only count:

  • to the last 20 years’ service;
  • your pay up to the weekly limit which is currently £525.

The first £30,000 of your redundancy payment is tax-free and you can still apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance if you receive a redundancy payment.

The Gov.UK calculator will help you work out your redundancy entitlement.

Fighting public sector redundancies

Thousands of public sector workers who have devoted their working lives to serving their communities are now facing an uncertain future. We don’t believe public sector finances are in the terrible state we are told they are in and we believe that difficult economic times call for more public sector workers, not fewer.

UNISON is committed to helping public sector workers in their fight to keep doing their vital jobs.

Key facts
  • The threat of redundancy affects many UNISON members as local and central government departments aim to meet cost-cutting targets by reducing staff.
  • Redundancy is often a quick way for employers to cut costs.
  • The threat of redundancy affects thousands of UNISON members.
  • Apart from helping you resist redundancy UNISON can organise training for redeployment and career counselling to help you decide your next steps.



  • Can I fight against being made redundant?

    Provided you haven’t been unfairly targeted and the proper process has been followed and alternatives considered, it is very difficult to fight redundancy. But you can join UNISON’s campaign against public sector cuts.

    Read more about UNISON’s campaigns

  • How can I work out how much money I’ll be entitled to if I’m made redundant?

  • What can I do if I think I’ve been unfairly targeted for redundancy?

    Your employer must be fair and objective when they select people for redundancy and they must consult you properly. If you believe either of these things did not happen, contact your UNISON rep immediately.

  • What does my employer have to do to make me redundant?

    Your employer should try other options before making you redundant. These can include giving you a different job.

    Your employer must also consult you before making you redundant and follow a fair procedure when selecting who is to be made redundant – if they don’t do this they are in danger of unfairly dismissing you.