FAQs Redundancies

If my employer is considering a restructure or redundancies what should I expect?

What notice period should I have?

Are there alternatives to redundancies?

What am I entitled to by law? Should I expect more?

What can a union do to help?

If my employer is considering a restructure or redundancies what should I expect?

Sign posting of any potential redundancies should occur in advance of any announcement so that there is no surprise for employees and stress is minimised. It also provides an opportunity for employees to give feedback on any future structure and potentially look for other roles, or train up, while future organisation design is being considered.

When management have a proposal or idea of what the new design or impact is, then they should engage with your trade union or employee representatives. This process of engagement and negotiation can be between one and six months depending on the complexity of change. Often redundancy terms are agreed long in advance and the discussions are about roles, role numbers, reporting lines and organisation design. During this time your union listens to members and takes feedback from those affected.

If redundancies are a result, the terms are agreed with the union (the norm in the sector is 5 weeks pay per year of service inclusive of statutory, capped at 2 years pay, with some education grants). Those affected by redundancy should be voluntary. And staff should always have at least 3-6 months of real time to look for redeployment opportunities. HR should actively support this process.

Before anyone faces a forced or compulsory redundancy the employer should look for swaps. That is, staff of a similar skill set and grade who wish to leave on voluntary redundancy can swap with the employee who wishes to remain.

This is a reasonable process an employer should take before any redundancies or restructures happen.

What notice period should I have?

If you are facing redundancy you are formally entitled to a notice period based on your service or written into your contract of employment. So, check your contract or below:

Length of Service

Minimum Notice

Thirteen weeks to two years    

One week

Two to five years

Two weeks

Five to ten years

Four weeks

Ten to fifteen years

Six weeks

More than fifteen years

Eight weeks

But as outlined above, the notice is the last stage - you should be well aware before any formal notice kicks in. Employers should have taken steps to mitigate against the redundancy before any notice is issued, as good practice.

Are there alternatives to redundancies?

Yes the employer should look to support you finding suitable alternative roles or alternative roles. A suitable alternative role would, for example, be at the same grade or involve the same skillset, whereas an alternative role might be a different grade or in a different location.

They should also look for swaps with staff who might wish to leave, to avoid any forced redundancy. Your employer might also consider reduced hours or job shares again to avoid potential redundancies.

What am I entitled to by law? Should I expect more?

You are really only entitled to, depending on the situation, 30 days notice and statutory redundancy payment of two weeks pay per each year of service. But yes you should expect much more. Best practice is agreed with FSU across the sector and is outlined above in terms of timeframes, terms and mitigants against redundancy.

What can a union do to help?

The best you can do is organise you and your colleagues into FSU now before anything happens. Then we can campaign to secure union recognition and seek to agree a job security agreement with KBC based on the above processes and procedures.