Redundancy in United Kingdom law

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Redundancy in United Kingdom law concerns the rights of employees if they are dismissed for economic reasons in UK labour law.

Definition of redundancy[edit]

Section 139 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 defines the two situations in which a redundancy may occur:

(a) the fact that his employer has ceased or intends to cease—

(i) to carry on the business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by him, or
(ii) to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or

(b) the fact that the requirements of that business—

(i) for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or
(ii) for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employer,

have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.

Diminishing of work[edit]

While the first case envisages situations where an employer simply closes his business, the second scenario has caused trouble in its interpretation.

The function of the employee[edit]

  • The function of the employee
  • Johnson v Nottinghamshire Combined Police Authority
  • Murphy v Epsom College

The place of work[edit]

Geographical test now favoured, Bass Leisure Ltd v Thomas, best of both worlds for the employer potentially, though in that case the EAT made clear that any use of mobility clauses must be subject to the employee's situation.

Redundancy procedure[edit]

Bessenden Properties Ltd v Corness establishes the main principles on fairness of procedure, with Williams v Compair Maxam Ltd affirming it.


  • Huddersfield Parcels Ltd v Sykes on double consultation (Dyke v Hereford and Worcester County Council affirming)
  • Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, Section 188
  • special circumstances defence

Selection criteria[edit]

  • British Aerospace Plc v Green and FDR Ltd v Holloway on discovery of how criteria were applied
  • Clarke v Eley Kynoch Ltd on discrimination in criteria on gender

Re-organisations and redundancy[edit]

Redundancy payments[edit]

See also[edit]