What are your redundancy rights?

If you’ve been made redundant or are facing redundancy, it’s important to know your rights. Here’s an overview of the process, what you’re entitled to, and how to appeal.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is when you lose your job because your employer has to reduce staff or close the business.

If you’re being made redundant, it’s because your job role isn’t needed any more, or fewer people are needed for the same job.

Genuine business reasons for redundancy are:

  1. Financial difficulty
  2. Organisation restructure
  3. Business closure
  4. Lack of work

women talking in office

Consulting with your employer

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

  • This consultation period starts at least 30 days before any redundancy happens*
  • It is an opportunity to get answers to any questions you have
  • You may also suggest other options that may stop the redundancies going ahead. For example, if they need to cut costs, you may suggest working from home or reducing your hours.

*Consultation period only applies to ‘collective redundancy’ i.e. if there’s a minimum number of employees. Numbers are based on the business size; starting from 5 employees, to 30.

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

When is redundancy unfair?

If your employer needs to reduce the number of employees doing the same role, they should use fair, objective and relevant selection criteria.

Some common methods are ‘first in, last out’ selection, asking employees if they’d like to leave - known as voluntary redundancy - and making a choice based on standard of work.

Your employer can’t make you redundant using any of the 9 grounds for discrimination, including your age, gender, race or sexual orientation.

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

Unfair criteria

  • Trade union activity or membership
  • Pregnancy
  • Religious or political opinions or beliefs

Fair criteria

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

Redundancy Pay

You’re entitled to get a minimum redundancy payment if you’ve worked continuously for two years in your job. This is known as a statutory redundancy.

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

  1. Be over 16 years of age
  2. Be in employment that is fully insurable under the Social Welfare Acts
  3. Have been employed continuously for at least 104 weeks (over the age of 16)
  4. Have been dismissed for reasons of redundancy

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

Statutory Redundancy Pay Calculator

The maximum weekly statutory redundancy payment amount is €600, but some employers offer more than that; known as ex gratia payment.

This is anything above the statutory amount you’re entitled to.

To check how much you’ll get based on your circumstances, you can use the redundancy calculator on the website. Your statutory redundancy payment is not taxable, but any ex gratia payment could be.

You can check here.

Are there exceptions?

There are some exceptions to entitled redundancy pay:

  • Alternative employment: 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.
  • Leaving early: 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.

For the alternative employment to be considered suitable, the role terms would need to be equal to your current one e.g. the same salary and status.

If the role offered isn’t suitable, you can pursue your redundancy pay or make a claim for unfair dismissal.

What happens if your employer won’t pay?

If your employer won’t pay, you should apply for payment using the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) complaint form. This should be done within one year of your redundancy.

If the WRC rules in your favour but your employer still refuses to pay, you can apply to the Department of Social Protection for payment.

You’ll need to:

  1. Request an application form by emailing
  2. Send the signed form and the WRC decision to Redundancy and Insolvency Payments Unit

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 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.

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 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 least 5 employees out of a workforce of between 20 and 50. Find out more about the rules on collective redundancies on the 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.