Redundancy occurs when you lose your job due to the closure of a business or
a reduction of the workforce. This can happen due to lack of work available or
the financial circumstances of the firm.
Alternatively, an employer may lay you off or put you on short time for a
number of weeks.
Under the Redundancy
Payments Acts 1967–2014 a lay-off situation arises where your employer is
unable to provide work for you, but believes this to be a temporary situation
and gives you notification of the lay off before the work finishes.
A short-time situation arises where, due to a reduction in the amount of
work to be done, your weekly pay is less than half your normal weekly pay or
your hours worked are reduced to less than half the normal weekly working
hours. This must be a temporary situation and your employer must notify you
before the reduction starts.
The employer should explain to the employees the reason for the lay off or
short-time working and keep employees informed of the situation during this
time. In both cases these must be temporary situations and your employer must
notify you to this effect before they start. The best way to do this is by
using Part A of form RP9
(pdf). If your employer fails to notify you of the lay off or short-time
working, there could be a claim for statutory redundancy payment against your
Your employer can lay you off or put you on short time if it is in your
contract of employment or if it is custom and practice in your
workplace.Otherwise your employer should not lay you off or put you on short
time without your agreement. However if you do not agree you may be made
redundant. You can read more about your options if you do not agree to the lay
off or short-time working in our document on being
asked to reduce your pay or hours of work.
Selection of employees
When selecting employees for lay off or short-time working an employer
should apply the same standard of selection criteria as for redundancy. The
criteria should be reasonable and applied in a fair manner. For example, the
custom and practice in the workplace may be last in, first out or the contract
of employment may set out criteria for selection. Under employment
equality legislation, the selection must not discriminate against employees
on any of the following 9 grounds: gender, civil status, family status, age,
disability, religious belief, race, sexual orientation or membership of the
Social welfare payments
If you are laid off or are on short-time working you may be entitled to Jobseeker's
Benefit or Jobseeker's
Allowance. If you are getting Family
Income Supplement this may be affected by the reduction in your working
If a lay-off or a short-time situation exists and has continued for 4 weeks
or more, or for 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks, you may give your employer a
notice in writing of your intention to claim redundancy under the Redundancy
Payments Acts 1967-2014 - see 'How to apply' below. If the period of
lay-off or redundancy has ended, you must do this within 4 weeks.
Unless your employer gives you a counter-notice within 7 days of your
notice, you may be entitled to a redundancy payment provided that you qualify for redundancy. If your
employer gives you a counter-notice within the allotted time, it must be to the
effect that within 4 weeks of the date of your claim for
redundancy, it will be possible to offer you not less than 13 weeks'
work without lay off or short time.
You should note that if you claim redundancy in this way you are considered
to have left your job voluntarily and therefore you will lose any right to notice from
your employer under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts
1973-2005. However if you have been laid off and you are subsequently made
redundant by your employer you do not lose your notice entitlements.
Redundancy payment and notice when on short time
If you have been put on short time and then are made redundant your
redundancy payment may be based on your pay for a full week. It has been the
view of the Employment Appeals Tribunal (now the Workplace
Relations Commission) that when a person is put on short time, that is,
less than half their normal weekly earnings, the gross wage for the calculation
of a redundancy lump sum is based on a full week's pay.
Notice: When your employer gives you notice, your notice
entitlement is based on your full-time work. When you were put on short-time
work, your contract of employment was temporarily suspended. When your employer
decided to make you redundant, he or she had to re-activate your contract in
order to dismiss you on grounds of redundancy. If you were made redundant and
you were not required to work out your notice you are entitled to payment in
lieu of notice which is your normal pay for that notice period. This means that
your notice entitlement is based on the hours of work in your contract of
employment, not on the short-time hours of work.
Duration of lay off or short time
If you do not wish to claim redundancy but the lay-off or short-time
situation continues, the question arises as to whether it is a temporary
situation. If it becomes apparent that it is no longer temporary then the
situation is now a redundancy rather than a lay-off or short-time working. It
is the employer who initially decides whether or not there is a redundancy
situation. If there is a dispute about this it should be referred to the
Workplace Relations Commission to make a decision.
In the case of workers who have been laid off for an average period of more
than 12 weeks during the 4 years prior to redundancy, the provisions relating
to lay off above will not apply until the end of that average period. If you
are a seasonal worker, therefore, there will normally be no question of
redundancy until the usual commencement time of your seasonal work. If you are
not then re-employed, the question of redundancy arises, but not until then.
How to apply
If you have been laid off or on short-time working for 4 weeks or more, you
may give your employer notice of your intention to claim a redundancy payment
on form RP9
If your employer has not paid your redundancy lump sum, you should apply to
your employer for it using form RP77
(pdf). If your employer still refuses to pay it, you can apply to the
Department of Social Protection for direct payment from the Social Insurance
Fund. This must be done online using
form RP50 as follows:
- If your employer is unable to pay your redundancy lump sum, they should
sign the RP50. They should submit a letter from an accountant or solicitor
stating they are unable to pay and accepting liability for 100% of the lump
sum owing to the Social Insurance Fund. Documentary evidence such as
audited accounts should also be included.
- If your employer refuses to pay your redundancy lump sum or if there is a
dispute about redundancy you can bring a claim to the Workplace
Relations Commission. You must use the online complaint form available
This must be done within one year of your dismissal. Then you apply for
your lump sum by sending a completed form RP50 together with a favourable
decision from the adjudicator
of the Workplace Relations Commission.
You can read this list
of frequently asked questions about redundancy.
Where to apply
You should send your application for payment from the Social Insurance Fund
Redundancy Payments Section
Department of Social Protection
Floor 2, Block C
The Earlsfort Centre
Lower Hatch Street
Tel:(01) 673 4500
Locall:1890 800 699
For further information about the Redundancy Payments Scheme contact:
Workplace Relations Commission
Information and Customer Service
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Fax:(059) 917 8909