What are your redundancy rights?

If your job’s unstable and you’re at risk of redundancy, it’s vital to know your rights. Here’s an overview of the process, what you’re entitled to, and how to appeal.

What is redundancy?

It’s where you lose your job because your employer has to reduce staff to meet business needs. This could be because they need to:

  • Cut costs
  • Move premises
  • Restructure the business
  • Close down

What are the grounds for being made redundant?

If you’re being made redundant, it’s because either:

  1. Your job role isn’t needed any more
  2. Fewer people are needed for the same job

If your individual job role has been selected for redundancy, your employer can’t recruit for the same role for at least six months.

If your employer needs to reduce the number of employees doing the same role, they should use selection criteria to score them against.

The selection criteria should be fair, objective and relevant to the role, examples include:

  • Skills, qualifications and aptitude
  • Standard of work and performance
  • Attendance and disciplinary record

What grounds are unfair?

Your employer can’t use certain criteria to decide who to make redundant. Examples considered to be unfair discrimination are:

  • Trade union activity or membership
  • Pregnancy
  • Religious opinions and beliefs, or political opinions
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Civil status
  • Family status
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation
  • Being part of the traveller community

If you have been selected unfairly, you can raise an unfair dismissal claim.

What is the consultation period?

Once you’ve been told you’re at risk of redundancy, you have the right to consult with your employer.

This is the consultation period and starts at least 30 days before the first redundancy happens.

You can ask questions and come up with other options for your employer to consider that could stop the redundancies going ahead.

For example, if they need to cut costs, you may suggest working from home or reducing your hours.

The consultation period must have ended before the notices of redundancy are issued.

How much is statutory redundancy pay?

If you qualify for statutory pay, you’re entitled to:

  • Two weeks normal pay for each year you’ve been employed
  • An extra week’s pay

The maximum weekly statutory redundancy payment amount is €600.

To check how much you’ll get based on your circumstances, you can use the redundancy calculator on the gove.ie website.

Some employers offer more than statutory pay, known as ex gratia. This is anything above the statutory amount you’re entitled to.

Your statutory redundancy payment is not taxable, but any ex gratia payment could be, you can check here.

Do you qualify for a redundancy payment?

You have to meet certain criteria to qualify for statutory redundancy pay. You must:

  • Be over 16 years of age
  • Have been employed continuously for at least 104 weeks (over the age of 16)
  • Have been dismissed for reasons of redundancy

There are lots of approved scenarios on the Citizens Information website that won’t break your continuity of employment.

Are there any exceptions?

If you’re offered suitable alternative employment by your employer, you won’t be entitled to redundancy pay whether you accept the role or not.

To be considered suitable, the new terms would need to be at least equal to your current terms e.g. the same salary and status.

If you refuse the offer of an alternative role that you feel isn’t suitable and are then dismissed, you may pursue your redundancy pay or make a claim for unfair dismissal.

If you’re in your redundancy notice period and want to leave early, you won’t be entitled to redundancy pay unless it’s been agreed beforehand.

You should notify your employer that you wish to leave early by completing this form.

How much notice are you entitled to?

It’s based on the number of continuous years service you have, as shown in the table below:

Number of years service Notice in weeks
2-5 2
5-10 4
10-15 6
15+ 8

If your employer doesn’t need you to work your notice or if you’re not currently working e.g. on holiday or off sick, you’re still entitled to paid notice. This is known as PILON (payment in lieu of notice).

Can you appeal against your redundancy?

Yes, you can make a claim for unfair dismissal if you believe:

  • The reasons you’ve been given for redundancy aren’t genuine
  • Procedures in your contract haven’t been followed
  • You’ve been selected on unfair discrimination grounds e.g. your age or race

You must make a complaint within six months of your redundancy date to the Workplace Relations Commission using this complaint form.

Full details of the process and possible outcomes are shown on the Citizens Information website.

What happens if your employer won’t pay?

If your employer hasn’t made your redundancy payment, you should apply for it using the Workplace Relations claim form.

You need to give your employer 14 days to pay before taking things further.

If they still haven’t paid, you can apply to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for payment. You’ll need to:

  1. Complete the online redundancy claim form
  2. Print it off
  3. Sign it and get your employer to sign it

You’ll need to include a letter from a solicitor or accountant, or recent copies of audited accounts that confirms your employer can’t pay.

Your employer must sign the claim form to confirm you’re owed redundancy pay and provide evidence that they can’t pay it.

What are your rights after you’ve been made redundant?

If you haven’t managed to find other work, you may be entitled to jobseeker’s allowance until you do. This depends on things like your:

  • Age
  • PRSI contributions
  • Redundancy payment
  • Other finances

You can register that you’re unemployed at your local Intreo Centre or apply for jobseeker’s on the MyWelfare website.

Find out more about jobseeker’s payments on the gov.ie website.

Redundancy rights FAQs

Am I allowed time off during my redundancy notice period?

Yes, you are still entitled to take any pre-booked holidays and are allowed reasonable time off to find alternative work e.g. attend interviews.

Am I entitled to redundancy pay if I work for an agency?

Yes, if you meet the qualifying criteria. However, if the agency pays your wage, they will also have to pay the statutory redundancy payment.

Are apprentices entitled to redundancy?

Yes, if you’re an apprentice, the same rules apply as for a regular employee.

You may qualify for a redundancy payment unless you’re dismissed within a month after your apprenticeship ends.

Can I be made redundant while I’m on maternity leave?

No. You can’t be issued with notice of redundancy while you’re on ordinary or additional maternity leave.

Do I have to decide straight away if my employer offers me an alternative role?

No, you’re entitled to the full job details and to do a trial for up to four weeks.

If the alternative role means your hours or pay have reduced by 50% or more, you could do the role for up to a year without it counting as your acceptance.

Do I have to pay tax on my redundancy payments?

No, your statutory redundancy pay isn’t taxable. However, if you receive additional redundancy money from your company, this may be taxed, check here.

What are collective redundancies?

These are where a minimum number of redundancies are made during a 30 day period, depending on the size of the company e.g.at least 5 employees out of a workforce of between 20 and 50. Find out more about the rules on collective redundancies on the citizensinformation.ie website.

What's the difference between redundancy and being fired?

If you’re fired, it’s usually because of some sort of misconduct on your part. If you’re made redundant, you lose your job due to business reasons e.g. cost cutting or restructure that are usually beyond your control.

Get a SIM only deal with the calls, texts and data you need for less.

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving.