In addition to the provisions in the legislation as regards collective redundancies your employer
must follow certain fair procedures that is, to give you at least 2 weeks'
notice and on the date of dismissal pay your redundancy payment. There are also various
procedures with regard to selection for redundancy, alternative work and time
Selection for redundancy
In selecting a particular employee for redundancy, an employer should apply
selection criteria that are reasonable and are applied in a fair manner. You
are entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal if you consider
that you were unfairly selected for redundancy or consider that a genuine
redundancy situation did not exist. Examples of these situations might include
where the custom and practice in your workplace has been last in, first out and
your selection did not follow this procedure. Another example may be where your
contract of employment sets out criteria for selection which were not
Under the unfair dismissals legislation, selection for redundancy based on
certain specific grounds is considered unfair. These include redundancy as the
result of an employee's trade union activity, pregnancy or religious or
political opinions. The employment equality legislation also prohibits
selection for redundancy that is based on any of the following 9 grounds:
gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, religious belief, race,
sexual orientation or membership of the Traveller community.
As with any dismissal, an employer must act reasonably when dismissing an
employee in a redundancy situation. This requires prior consultation with you
before the decision is made. In addition, your employer should consider all
options including possible alternatives.
If your employer makes you a reasonable offer of alternative work, and you
refuse it, you may lose your entitlement to a redundancy payment. Generally
speaking, alternatives which involve a loss of status or worsening of the terms
and conditions of your employment would not be considered reasonable.
Similarly, you may be justified in refusing an offer that involves you
travelling an unreasonable distance to work.
You may take up an alternative on trial for up to 4 weeks. Where the
alternative involves a reduction of 50% or more in hours or pay, working under
the new arrangements for up to 52 weeks will not count as an acceptance.
If you accept a new contract or re-engagement with immediate effect and the
terms do not differ from those of the previous contract, you will not be
entitled to claim redundancy. This also applies if you refuse such an offer
If you accept an offer in writing from your employer for a new and different
contract which will take effect within 4 weeks of the ending of the previous
contract, you will not be entitled to claim redundancy. Equally, if you refuse
such an offer unreasonably, you will lose your right to a redundancy payment.
Your justifiable refusal of an offer of alternative work, followed by
dismissal, may, depending on the circumstances, entitle you to seek statutory
redundancy or make a claim for unfair dismissal.
Any offer of alternative work should be given to you in writing and you are
entitled to full information concerning the details of the offer.
Notice from the employer
You are entitled to a minimum of 2 weeks' written notice of redundancy. This
notice period goes up depending on the period of service.
|Period of service
|Between 2-5 years
|Between 5-10 years
|Between 10-15 years
|Over 15 years
Notice when on lay-off or short time: If you have been laid
off or put on short-time work, this means that your contract of employment is
temporarily suspended. If your employer then decides to make you redundant, he
or she must re-activate your contract in order to dismiss you on grounds of
redundancy. When your employer gives notice of redundancy you are entitled to
the full notice period. If you are made redundant and you are 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.
For example, if you have been on short-time work and your employer then
makes you redundant your payment in lieu of notice is based on the hours of
work in your contract of employment, not on the short-time hours of work.
If you are being made redundant, you are entitled to reasonable paid time
off in order to look for a new job. This right is set down in law in Section
7 of the Redundancy Payments Act 1979. (You should note that while the
Redundancy Acts have been amended a number of times the provisions as set down
in 1979 for time off, still remain in force today.)
You are entitled to any holidays that are outstanding or payment in lieu of
Leaving before your notice expires
Between receiving your notice of redundancy and the date your employment
ends, you may give your employer notice that you wish to leave before the end
of your notice period. You do this by completing form RP6
(pdf) and giving it to your employer. Your employer has discretion as to
whether to grant your request or not. You should note that leaving during the
notice period without your employer's agreement may affect your entitlement to
a redundancy payment.
Social welfare payments
When you lose your job you should register as unemployed by signing on with
your local social welfare office. If you have enough social insurance
contributions you may be entitled to Jobseeker’s
Benefit. If you do not have enough PRSI contributions you may qualify for
Allowance which is a means-tested benefit.
How to apply
Your employer must give you at least 2 weeks' written notice of the
redundancy. On the date of the termination of employment your employer should
pay the redundancy lump sum due to you.
You can find information
for employers on making a redundancy claim here. This must be done online using
If your employer has not paid your redundancy lump sum, you should apply to
your employer for it using form RP
77 (pdf). If your employer still does not pay it, you can apply to the
Department of Social Protection for direct payment from the Social Insurance
Fund as follows:
- If your employer is unable to pay your redundancy lump
sum, they should complete and sign the RP50. They should also submit a
letter from an accountant or solicitor stating they are unable to pay and
accepting liability for 100% of the lump sum (85% for a dismissal in 2012)
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 to the Redundancy Payments
Section together with a favourable decision from the adjudicator
of the Workplace Relations Commission.
Insolvency: If the company has been liquidated or is in
receivership, the completed form RP50 should be sent in by the liquidator or
receiver on behalf of the employees.
You can read this list of frequently
asked questions about redundancy.