Employer Alert – Extension Of Suspension Of Redundancy Provisions

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The suspension of redundancy provisions relating to temporary lay-off and short-time work introduced in March 2020 will be further extended until 30 November 2020. It was currently due to expire on 17 September 2020.

Prior to March 2020, if an employee was laid-off or put on short-time for (i) 4 or more consecutive weeks, or (ii) 6 or more weeks within a 13-week period of which not more than 3 are consecutive, the employee was entitled to notify their employer in writing of their intention to claim a statutory redundancy payment assuming they satisfied the qualifying criteria, for example, having at least 2 years’ continuous service. On giving notice, an employee would be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if their employer could not give them counter-notice within 7 days of the employee’s notice. The employer’s counter-notice should be to the effect that within 4 weeks of the employee’s service of notice of intention to claim, the employee will be offered at least 13 weeks’ work with the employer without lay-off or short-time.

It is important to be aware that an employee’s right to claim a redundancy payment has not been removed, but merely deferred for a specified period for those employees on temporary lay-off and short-time. Employers should therefore continue to be mindful of an employees’ rights to claim statutory redundancy payments, and the cost of these payments to employers, once such entitlements are reinstated.