Redundancy and Layoffs in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Polkey v A. E. Dayton Services Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 19 November 1987

    Thus, in the case of incapacity, the employer will normally not act reasonably unless he gives the employee fair warning and an opportunity to mend his ways and show that he can do the job; in the case of misconduct, the employer will normally not act reasonably unless he investigates the complaint of misconduct fully and fairly and hears whatever the employee wishes to say in his defence or in explanation or mitigation; in the case of redundancy, the employer will normally not act reasonably unless he warns and consults any employees affected or their representative, adopts a fair basis on which to select for redundancy and takes such steps as may be reasonable to avoid or minimise redundancy by redeployment within his own organisation.

    If it is held that taking the appropriate steps which the employer failed to take before dismissing the employer would not have affected the outcome, this will often lead to the result that the employee, though unfairly dismissed, will recover no compensation or, in the case of redundancy, no compensation in excess of his redundancy payment.

  • Johnson v Nottinghamshire Combined Police Authority
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 December 1973

    It is settled by those cases that an employer is entitled toreorganise his business so as to improve its efficiency and, in so- doing, to propose to his staff a change in the terms and conditions of their employment: and to dispense with their services if they do not agree. Such a change does not automatically give the staff a right to redundancy payments. It only does so if the change in the terms and conditions is due to a redundancy situation.

  • O'Dea v ISC Chemicals Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 28 July 1995

    In my judgment, in a case where the reason or principal reason for dismissal is redundancy but the employer acted unreasonably in some particular respect in the process of selecting the applicant for redundancy so that the dismissal was rendered unfair, it is for the industrial tribunal to decide what it is just and equitable in all the circumstances to award the applicant, having regard to the loss sustained by the applicant in so far as that loss is attributable to action by the employer (s.74(1) of the Act).

  • Abernethy v Mott, Hay and Anderson
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 06 February 1974

    A reason for the dismissal of an employee is a set of facts known to the employer, or it may be of beliefs held by him, which cause him to dismiss the employee. If at the time of his dismissal the employer gives a reason for it, that is no doubt evidence, at any rate, as against him, as to the real reason, but it does notnecessarily constitute the real reason.

  • Lloyd v Brassey
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 26 November 1968

    As this is one of our first cases on the Redundancy Payments Act, 1965, it is as well to remind ourselves of the policy of this legislation. As I read the Act, a worker of long standing is now recognised as having an accrued right in his Job; and his right gains in value with the years. So much so that, if the Job is shutdown, he is entitled to compensation for loss of the Job - Just as a director gets compensation for lossof office.

  • Mairs (HM Inspector of Taxes) v Haughey (Northern Ireland)
    • House of Lords
    • 22 July 1993

    It is not always easy to reconcile these authorities since as is to be expected they are frequently concerned with situations close to the borderline between payments which fall within and payments that fall without the statutory provision. In each case ultimately it is a matter of applying the statutory language to the facts.

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Books & Journal Articles
    • No. 25-2, July 1987
    • British Journal of Industrial Relations
    ... ... Richard Aronson. JAI Press, 1986,210 pp., $43.50. Redundancy, Layoffs and Plant Closures: Their Character, Causes and ... ...
  • Who Controls Selection under ‘Voluntary’ Redundancy? The Case of the Redundant Mineworkers Payments Scheme
    • No. 34-2, June 1996
    • British Journal of Industrial Relations
    Voluntary redundancy schemes which offer extra‐statutory redundancy payments are often used as a mechanism for implementing redundancy in Britain. This paper reports the impact of one such scheme, ...
    ... ... (1987). ‘Extra-statutory redundancy payments in Britain’. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 25: 401-18. - (1995). ‘Layoffs with payoffs: a bargaining model of union wage and severance pay determination’. Economica, 62 551-64. - and Chatterji, M ... ...
  • Workers’ experiences of redundancy: evidence from Scottish defence‐dependent companies
    • No. 27-4, August 1998
    • Personnel Review
    • 325-342
    Examines the phenomenon of worker displacement resulting from redundancies within defence‐related industries. Focuses on responses to an extensive survey of people made redundant over a three‐year ...
    ... ... Indeed some reported a``climate of fear'' in the companies before the announcements, particularlywhere the required number of layoffs could not be met through voluntaryredundancies. ``When the word redundancy is flying about, or it's leaked, thewhole factory just changes, people are ... ...
  • The role of outplacement in redundancy management
    • No. 27-4, August 1998
    • Personnel Review
    • 343-353
    Explores redundancy as a significant and pervasive outcome of organisational change. Argues that the need to manage the redundancy transition has provoked the development of new HRM policies and pr...
    ... ... and Thomas, R. (1991), The UK Outplacement Report, Kingsland James Ltd(BMSL), London.Brockner, J. (1986), ``The impact of layoffs on survivors'', Supervisory Management, Vol. 31 No.6, pp. 2-7.Brockner, J. (1992), ``Managing the effects of layoffs on survivors'', California ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Making Sense Of The Scottish Government Guidance For Licensed Premises
    • Mondaq UK
    ... ... Employers may ... have to consider layoffs and redundancy with the appropriate ... consultation processes that ... ...
  • UK State Of Law
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ... ... Dickinson Dees cut 17 from its re-mortgage team, although the ... layoffs did not hit lawyers ... Redundancy consultations have also reportedly ... ...
  • We Are Considering Layoffs In The UK. How Should We Plan Our Approach To These Dismissals? (Video)
    • Mondaq UK
    ... ... to around a year's pay or USD 115,000 unless the employer has a ... fair reason for dismissal and follows a fair process. Redundancy is ... a potentially fair reason, but it requires at least two ... consultation meetings with employees to outline and discuss the ... proposed ... ...
  • Making Redundancies In The UK
    • Mondaq UK
    ... ... UK has a statute similar to US WARN that is triggered at 20 ... layoffs but individual consultation is still required for any ... number of ... Failure to notify BEIS is a criminal offence ... How will the redundancy process be structured? This question ... feeds importantly into the timing ... ...
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