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redundancy

1. (in employment law) The position of an employee whose services are no longer needed by his employer. Under the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, dismissal for redundancy occurs when the reason is wholly or mainly that the employer has ceased or intends to cease carrying on the business in which the employee was employed, that he is transferring the business in which the employee works to another location, or that he needs fewer employees to carry out the work in the place in which the employee is employed. An employee dismissed in such circumstances is entitled to a statutory *redundancy payment if he has been continuously employed in the business (see *continuous employment) for 104 weeks prior to the *effective date of termination of his employment, ignoring any period during which the employee was under the age of 18, and provided he is not over the age of 65. He may also be disqualified from receiving payment if the employer has offered him suitable alternative employment, starting within four weeks after his old employment ends, and the employee unreasonably refuses it. He may however try out alternative employment for up to four weeks without forfeiting his redundancy payment, if he decides not to continue thereafter.

An employee who is laid off (i.e. not provided with work) or kept on short-time working, otherwise than as a result of industrial action, for four or more weeks continuously, or for six or more weeks (not more than three consecutively) in any thirteen-week period, may claim a redundancy payment in certain circumstances. He must give his employer at least the minimum required period of *notice terminating his employment, stating his intention to claim a redundancy payment. This notice must be given within four weeks after the end of the relevant period of lay-off or short-time working. However, the employer is not liable to give him a redundancy payment if he honours a written undertaking, given within seven days after receiving the employee’s notice, to restore full-time working within four weeks after the employee’s notice, for at least 13 weeks without interruption.

An employee who is made redundant must be given reasonable time off during the notice period to seek other employment. If he is offered a new job starting before his notice expires, he may bring forward the termination of his old employment. However, the employer can challenge his right to a redundancy payment if he justifiably requires the employee to work for the full notice period. An employee forfeits his redundancy payment if, during the notice period, his employer justifiably dismisses him for misconduct other than strike action.

Disputes concerning redundancy and redundancy payments are determined by application to an industrial tribunal. The tribunal can also make a protective award to employees on the application of an *independent trade union when the employer has failed to give sufficient notice of his intention to declare redundancies (see *disclosure of information).

2. (in pleadings) The inclusion of unnecessary or irrelevant material. The court may order redundant material in a pleading to be struck out.

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