Do I have a right to redundancy pay?
What is statutory redundancy pay?
Where you lose your job because your employer is closing the business or reducing staff numbers, this is known as redundancy.
You are entitled to get a minimum redundancy payment after you have two years’ service in your job. This is known as a statutory redundancy. The statutory redundancy payment is based on a calculation using your pay and your length of service.
Do I have a right to redundancy pay?
To be eligible for a statutory redundancy payment, you must:
- Be over 16
- Be in employment that is fully insurable under the Social Welfare Acts
- Have at least 2 years’ continuous employment (104 weeks) with the same employer over the age of 16
- Have been made redundant (dismissed from your job).
You must have been dismissed from your job
To show you were dismissed, your employment must have been terminated (with or without notice).
There will also be a dismissal if you have ended your contract of employment because you were forced to leave your job because of your employer’s conduct. This is known as constructive dismissal.
What is continuous employment?
To qualify for a statutory redundancy payment you must have 2 years’ (104 weeks) continuous employment in your job.
Continuous employment is the length of time you are employed by the business. The following situations will not break your continuous employment:
- You were on maternity leave, paternity leave, adoptive leave, parental leave, parent's leave or carer's leave
- You were off work through illness, agreed absence, holidays or lay off
- You were dismissed due to redundancy before reaching 104 weeks' service and then taken back by your employer within 26 weeks of that dismissal
- You have been re-employed within 4 weeks of dismissal by an associate company of your previous employer
- You have been voluntarily transferred to another employer and it is agreed that the continuity of your service will not be broken
- You are placed back in your employment under the unfair dismissals legislation
- You are on strike or locked out of your employment
- There has been a transfer of the business you work for to a new owner
Is continuous employment and reckonable service the same?
No, continuous employment is the length of time you have been employed in your job that counts towards qualifying for redundancy. You need 104 weeks of continuous employment to qualify for redundancy.
The amount of redundancy pay you get is based on your reckonable service with your employer. Some types of absences do not count towards reckonable service.
If you work part-time
By law, part-time workers cannot have less favourable conditions of employment than comparable full-time workers.
This means that part-time workers (including casual workers) have a right to statutory redundancy. You must still meet the requirement for 2 years' continuous service described above.
If you are an agency worker
As an agency worker, you are also protected under redundancy legislation.
If the employment agency pays your wages, it is responsible for paying the statutory redundancy payment.
If you are an apprentice
If you are an apprentice and are made redundant during the apprenticeship, you may qualify for a redundancy payment. You must meet the conditions of having 2 years' service (104 weeks) over the age of 16.
If you are dismissed within one month of the end of the apprenticeship, you will not qualify for a redundancy payment.
If you are kept on as an employee for more than a month after the apprenticeship ended and are subsequently made redundant, the time spent as an apprentice aged over 16 will count in the redundancy payment calculation.
If you are on a fixed-term contract
If you are on a fixed-term contract you may be entitled to statutory redundancy if your employer does not renew your fixed-term contract under the same or a similar contract before the term expires.
You must still meet the requirement for 2 years' continuous service described above. A series of shorter contracts that followed on from each other and added up to 2 years can also meet the 2 years’ continuous service requirement.
If you are a seasonal worker
If you are a seasonal worker and have at least 2 years’ service with your employer you may qualify for redundancy.
The 2 years does not include the time you are off work. The question of redundancy does not arise until the usual time when your seasonal work would start. If you are not re-employed then, you may be entitled to a redundancy payment.
If you are a director
If you are a director, you may be entitled to a redundancy payment if you have the right tax contributions.
You must qualify for a redundancy payment under existing rules – see ‘Do I have a right to redundancy pay?’ above.
If you are over 66
In the past, you had to be between 16 and 66 to qualify for statutory redundancy pay. The upper age limit of 66 was removed by the Protection of Employment Act 2007.
Employees who are over 16 and in employment which is insurable for all benefits under the Social Welfare Acts are entitled to statutory redundancy pay. This includes employees who are over 66 and who would be insurable, but for their age.
The time spent in employment aged over 66 will count in the redundancy payment calculation.
Read more about calculating your redundancy pay.
You can get more information about your employment rights from the Workplace Relations Commission. You can contact their Information and Customer service – see below.
The laws on redundancy
The laws on redundancy are set out in the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967–2014.