How to appeal a redundancy decision

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How to appeal a redundancy decision

Our definitive guide on how to appeal a redundancy decision will take you through the steps of preparing, actioning and managing a redundancy appeal.

At your redundancy meeting or phone call, you will have either been given a letter or an email from the company advising the following:

  • Your redundancy decision that includes information on how to appeal the decision with the name of the person you should appeal the redundancy decision to and whether this has to be sent in writing or whether it can be emailed.
  • Confirmation of the date that you need to submit the redundancy appeal by*.

*If you did not receive a letter/email or the procedure was unclear, contact your employer by email and follow up in writing straight away and ask them for a copy of their redundancy appeal procedure and a copy of your redundancy letter and how to appeal information.  If they do not have a redundancy appeal procedure, contact ACAS and they will give you guidance on what you and the company need to do.

Now you need to check whether the redundancy was legally unfair.

How to find out if a redundancy process was fair

Anyone can appeal a redundancy decision, but you should check whether it was fair before you do so.  Contact ACAS and also check with this handy link from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you have evidence or believe the process was unfair, you now need to appeal it straight away.

How to appeal a Redundancy Decision

Record Everything Going Forward

If you are looking to appeal a redundancy decision or you suspect your employer may be looking to make redundancies due to the COVID19 situation, it is in your best interests to verbally record every conversation or meeting you have with the company/co-workers/line managers going forward if you have not done so already.

This may seem morally wrong, but if you find you were mistreated by a co-worker, a line manager or anyone else associated with the company and decide to take the company to a tribunal, these recordings can be submitted in evidence to help your case.  Just ensure that your voice can be clearly heard in the recording as you must be actively taking part in the conversation to use for tribunal purposes.

If you have any recordings, DO NOT let your employer, the company or any co-workers know at any point you have them or are recording them.  These recordings are for YOUR personal use to have exact (verbatim) notes of conversations with your employer and other staff members and for potential future tribunal purposes.

Now you are ready to appeal your redundancy.

Redundancy Appeal Process

Follow the company’s redundancy appeal process.  If you don’t have a copy of it, request it from your employer straight away by email and by post.  If you request it quickly by email, you can start working on it straight away and you will have an email record of requesting it).

Now follow this guide:

  1. Advise your employer in writing by post and by email as soon as possible that you would like to appeal the redundancy decision.
  2. Set out the reasons in writing why you feel the process was unfair.   To check whether it was unfair, click here then come back to this guide.
  3. Set out clearly why you feel that your position should not be made redundant and ensure that it is emailed and/or delivered to the company before the deadline given in your redundancy letter.
  4. Confirm that you would like a meeting to discuss your decision and ask for them to confirm a date to you within 7 days.
  5. Once you have sent the email and letter you should receive a response confirming a date and time to discuss the redundancy appeal.  If you do not receive a response by the date you set, send an email to your employer every day after that date until you receive it.
  6. Your employer should now send you a letter or an email confirmation when your meeting will take place.  When you receive it, confirm you will be attending and also confirm who will be coming with you.
  7. If this is arranged over the phone, record the conversation.

Preparing for Your Telephone/Zoom/Face to Face Redundancy Hearing

If there were any doubts about any part of your employment, now is the time to email the company and ask them about it.

  1. Number each question and make the questions as clear as possible.
  2. Ask the company to confirm in writing what process they used to select employees for the redundancy process.
  3. Ask whether there were any other pools or specific departments within the wider pool of persons selected for redundancy.  If the response is not clear, ask them to clarify further.
  4. Ask for a copy of the company’s redundancy process and procedures.
  5. Ask for a copy of the company’s grievance procedure.
  6. Ask for a copy of the handwritten and typed notes from all the redundancy meetings.
  7. Ask for a copy of any documents used to base your redundancy decision (appraisals, HR records of your attendance, punctuality, test scores etc).

Once you have all the answers you need and you find that they did not carry out the process fairly or you feel you were bullied, subjected to difficult behaviour at work, you should bring this up in the redundancy hearing.

Redundancy Hearing with your Employer

The company will then invite you to attend a redundancy hearing which may take place over the phone.

The redundancy hearing should be chaired by an impartial person (someone who was not directly involved in the selection process).  If this is not possible, the company should arrange for a more senior member of staff to chair the hearing.  If that is not possible, the company can use a consultant.

  • Have a copy of your redundancy letter, the company’s redundancy policy and notes of what you want to say to ensure that you cover everything.  Refer the employer back to his or her emails of questions you have asked.  Try to be as clear as possible.  Ask more questions.  This is imperative as you can ask as many questions as you want and you will have an exact record of this meeting.
  • Prepare your questions.  If you feel that you were bullied, say it.  If you feel that you do not believe the redundancy was fair, say it.  Hold nothing back, but do keep it professional as you are being recorded by your own device too!
  • If you want to keep your job, you need to remember that and try not to personally attack anyone in particular, but if you are intending to take the company to a Tribunal, now is the time to get that evidence to support your case.

Redundancy Telephone/Zoom Hearing with your Employer

If everything is taking place over the phone or on Zoom, go to a quiet room, set your phone to the loudspeaker and use a further recording device to record the conversation.  Make sure you speak yourself during the call, otherwise you will not be able to use the recording at a tribunal if your voice cannot be heard.  This will enable you to concentrate on the hearing without the worry that you will not have taken any notes during the meeting.  If using iPhone voice notes, make sure you turn your phone to airplane mode.  That way the recording will not be interrupted or stop recording when calls come through.  You can then use this recording in a Tribunal at a later date as evidence.  Do not tell the person you are recording them and keep the recording device out of sight if you are on a Zoom meeting, you are not obligated to do so as these are your personal notes of this meeting.

You are able to bring a colleague or trade union representative to this redundancy hearing.  If this is refused, you should query this with your employer.

If a difficult line manager/colleague is conducting the redundancy hearing, you can state that you are not comfortable with this person doing it.  Suggest it could be someone from Human Resources or a person higher up in the company or a consultant.

Only you and the person conducting the redundancy hearing are allowed to speak.  Your colleague and/or representative should not attempt to speak on your behalf.  If your employer has anyone else in the redundancy hearing, they are also not allowed to speak.

During the hearing

  • You can use the redundancy hearing to discuss how both parties will deal with your return to employment if your redundancy appeal is successful.  You should also ask how the company will deal with the redundancy appeal if you are not successful.  Because you have recorded it, they will be bound by it.
  • If the person chairing the redundancy hearing becomes unprofessional and/or is clearly not behaving impartially, say it.
  • If the conduct of the person chairing the redundancy hearing becomes unacceptable (i.e. shouts, continually argues with you etc), you have the right to suspend the redundancy hearing and address the behaviour before continuing.  To address the behaviour, advise the person that you find their behaviour uncomfortable and to keep the redundancy hearing professional.  If the behaviour continues, you have the right to suspend the redundancy hearing and request for a further hearing to be arranged.
  • Once the redundancy hearing has ended, you should request a copy of the handwritten notes taken by the person chairing the redundancy or the minute taker at the time (not a few days later).  This should be scanned and emailed to you straight away.  This ensures that the employer/minute taker is unable to modify the notes in any way after the redundancy hearing has ended.
  • If in your mind you have decided that if the redundancy appeal process fails you have the option of taking your employer to a Tribunal, you have three months less a day to apply.  Follow this guide on how to submit a claim for an employment tribunal. 

Redundancy face to face hearing with your employer

Before you enter the redundancy hearing pop to the toilet.  Set your phone or recording device to record and place it in your pocket or in a bag.  Do not leave it in full view but try to ensure that it is not totally covered up so that it muffles the sound.  Bring a pad and a pen and take notes where you can.  This will enable you to concentrate on the redundancy hearing without the worry that you will not have taken any notes during the redundancy hearing.  If using iPhone voice notes, make sure you turn your phone to airplane mode.  That way the recording will not be interrupted or stop recording when calls come through.  You can then use this recording in a Tribunal at a later date as evidence.  Do not tell the person you are recording them, you are not obligated to do so as these are your personal notes of this meeting.

You are able to bring a colleague or trade union representative to this redundancy hearing.  If this is refused, you should query this with your employer.

If a difficult line manager/colleague is conducting the redundancy hearing, you can state that you are not comfortable with this person doing it.  Suggest it could be someone from Human Resources or a person higher up in the company or a consultant.

Only you and the person conducting the redundancy hearing are allowed to speak.  Your colleague and/or representative should not attempt to speak on your behalf.  If your employer has anyone else in the redundancy hearing, they are also not allowed to speak.

During the hearing

  • You can use the redundancy hearing to discuss how both parties will deal with your return to employment if your redundancy appeal is successful.  You should also ask how the company will deal with the redundancy appeal if you are not successful.  Because you have recorded it, they will be bound by it.
  • If the person chairing the redundancy hearing becomes unprofessional and/or is clearly not behaving impartially, say it.
  • If the conduct of the person chairing the redundancy hearing becomes unacceptable (i.e. shouts, continually argues with you etc), you have the right to suspend the redundancy hearing and address the behaviour before continuing.  To address the behaviour, advise the person that you find their behaviour uncomfortable and to keep the redundancy hearing professional.  If the behaviour continues, you have the right to suspend the redundancy hearing and request for a further hearing to be arranged.
  • You can use the hearing to discuss how both parties will deal with your return to employment if your redundancy appeal is successful.  You should also ask how the company will deal with the redundancy appeal if you are not successful.  Because you have recorded it, they will be bound by it.
  • Once the redundancy hearing has ended, you should request a copy of the handwritten notes taken by the person chairing the redundancy hearing and the minute taker (not a few days later).  This should be copied and given to you before you leave the building and also scanned and emailed to you whilst you wait.  This ensures that the employer/minute taker is unable to modify the notes in any way after the redundancy hearing has ended.
  • If in your mind you have decided that if the redundancy appeal process fails you have the option of taking your employer to a tribunal, you have three months less a day to apply.  Follow this guide on how to submit a claim for an employment tribunal. 

After the Hearing

  1. You should expect a response in writing from the company within seven days.
  2. During this time, if you have recorded the hearing, you should type up the notes from your recording and email them to yourself.  Ensure that you download the recording and also email the recording to yourself and keep it in a safe place.
  3. You should check the recording against the minutes taken by the employer.  Make a note of any discrepancies – you may need to use these later for a Tribunal.
  4. If once you listen to the recording, and you are unhappy with any part of how the hearing was conducted, you should consider escalating the redundancy appeal to a more senior person at the company in writing (CEO).  If you are happy with the recording, you should wait for the outcome from the person who chaired the redundancy hearing.

When you receive a response from your Employer

If you receive an unsatisfactory response

  1. You should appeal again (escalating it to the most senior person in the company).  We recommend that you contact the Chairman/CEO in writing.  In the meantime, you should contact ACAS to use their conciliation service.
  2. If you decide that you want to take your employer to a tribunal, you should liaise with ACAS and follow our guide on how to submit a claim for tribunal here.
  3. If you were bullied at work by co-workers or line managers, you should submit a subject access request to your employer to request all records that the company holds about you that specifically includes your name.  If anyone at the company has bullied you whether directly towards you or about you, you will then be able to see exactly what co-workers and line managers have specifically emailed other staff members about you.

If you receive a satisfactory response

  1. If the outcome is satisfactory and you return to work, you should protect yourself against any issues when you return.
  2. If you are called to any meetings, ensure you record them.  If you are treated badly by anyone at work, you should send an email to yourself with the date, time and detail of the behaviour to keep a record of it and keeping recording any incidents!
  3. Where you can, keep your dictaphone/recording device with you in case of any further incidents occur.

Recording Devices

What recording devices can you use to record a redundancy appeal hearing

You have a few options.  You can use your phone if it has a recording setting like voice notes or you can purchase a covert recording device here.  In any meeting, you have the option of asking the attendees if they are happy for you to record, but you may not get the answers you seek by doing this and they, of course, may refuse.  By covertly recording this type of meeting, you capture the entirety of the meeting yourself and you have the option of listening back to it to help with your appeal at a later date.  You may also capture information that will help you to take the Employer to a Tribunal at a later stage as long as your voice can be clearly heard on the recording.  If you still want to work at the company if an appeal is successful, you should not inform anyone at the meeting you are recording it.

SAIMPU Digital Voice Recorder 8gb Dictaphone with Mp3 Player Spy Recorder Voice Activated Recorder for Lectures, Professional Noise Reduction Rechargeable Recording Device

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This is a perfect recording device that is small enough to place inside a pocket or small bag.  This digital recorder has a professional DSP acoustic processor, built-in intelligent noise reduction chip that can directly filter the surrounding noise with the ability to capture recording content accurately and clearly.  This would work well in conferences, interviews, classes, meetings, conversations, recording difficult neighbours and concerts with its ultra-sensitive microphone.  The sound sampling rate is 1536Kbps and supports recording distances up to 50 meters.  You can use the earphone to listen to your sound while recording to check recording quality.  With one switch to record, save and delete, this digital recorder supports both MP3 and WAV format file which can be easily transferred to MAC or PC.

Voice Recorder, TDW 16GB Mini Voice Activated Recorders with USB Rechargeable Small Audio Recorder with Playback for Speech Lectures Meetings

Voice Recorder, TDW 16GB Mini Voice Activated Recorders with USB Rechargeable Small Audio Recorder with Playback for Speech Lectures Meetings

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With 16GB of internal memory, this mini recording device can continuously record 50 hours after 1.5 hours fully charged.  It has 176 hours of recording storage capacity and holds up to 999 recording files.  Ideal for conferences, meetings, interviews, speeches, lessons and recording difficult neighboursThis mini voice recorder measures only 1.59 x 1.39 x 0.38 inches and weighs 0.82 Oz (23g) so it can be taken anywhere.  This audio recorder can connect to a mobile phone to playback, delete and backup the files.  Only supports Android version above Android 4.3.  Thanks to the voice activation sensor integrated with the recorder, it will automatically start a recording only after detecting a sound, so as to avoid taking up space unnecessarily.  Equipped with a sensitive capacitive microphone that offers a high-quality recording, much better than any other conventional recorder.  One button to start and save a recording, recordings with time stamp, easy to find out the file.  Support recording while charging, when the battery is low, the recording will be saved automatically before the voice recorder is turned off.

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This truly is the simplest recording device to record meetings, lectures, talks, conferences, concerts, sermons, ceremonies, training sessions, telephone conversations, radio programs and agreements.  Good back up for incident or police report, doctor’s instructions, or legal matters.  Buy two and use one whilst the other is charging.  Have one on your keyring, on your office desk, in your purse, in your pocket, in your car, in your sports bag, in your school bag, in your music case, in your home study.  This small and discreet recording device is perfect for a hidden voice recorder.  Useful for covert audio surveillance and recording difficult neighbours.  Same size and look of a simple USB thumb drive with no markings indicating it is a recording device.  No flashing light when recording, use as a spy recorder in your pocket to secretly record live conversations.  Use as a listening device to gather surveillance evidence about the treatment of loved ones in care.  Simple on and off switch to operate.  One-touch recording, functional and compact. Record all day up to 17 hours, just plug into a USB port on your computer.  Eliminates the need for extra charging cables.  Plug USB sound recorder into your computer port and a folder of recorded WAV files appear immediately.  Super simple, one-step plug and play access to files.  No software to install.  Mac users may need VLC player.  Eliminates complicated transfer of files across devices.  No need to use iTunes.

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