Overview: redundancy


Redundancy generally occurs where you lose your job due to circumstances such as the closure of the business or a reduction in the number of staff. The reason could be due to the financial position of the organisation, lack of work, reorganisation within the organisation or perhaps because the organisation is closing down completely.

Redundancy can occur when your employer:

  • Stops trading altogether or stops trading in the place where you have been employed. (For example, if the organisation moves location, this can be a substantial change in your working conditions and may therefore be a reason for redundancy. However if there is a change of ownership under the transfer of undertaking legislation where employees are re-employed with no change to their working conditions then it is not a redundancy situation.)
  • No longer needs or has a reduced need for employees with your skills
  • Has decided to carry on the business with fewer or no staff. In deciding whether your employer is continuing the business with fewer or no staff, close members of your employer's family are not taken into account
  • Has decided that your work can be done in a different manner and you are not sufficiently qualified or trained to do the work in the different way
  • Has decided that your work will be done by another person who can do other work as well and you are not sufficiently qualified or trained to do that other work

When a number of employees are being made redundant within a 30-day period this is known as a collective redundancy.

Sometimes there is a voluntary redundancy situation. This is when an employer needs to reduce the workforce and asks for some employees to volunteer for redundancy.

In some cases when you have been in a lay off or short-time working situation for a certain length of time you may be entitled to claim redundancy.

Redundancy entitlements

The Redundancy Payments Acts 1967–2014 provide a minimum entitlement to a redundancy payment for employees who have a set period of service with the employer. Not all employees are entitled to this statutory redundancy payment, even where a redundancy situation exists. You can find out more details about qualifying for redundancy here. However, you and your employer may agree a redundancy payment above this statutory minimum and in such circumstances, employees who have not reached the statutory minimum period of service may also receive a payment.

If you are being made redundant the legislation specifies what notice must be given to you and what application forms must be completed - find out more about redundancy procedures.

If you are entitled to a redundancy payment there are specific rules about how your continuity of service is assessed and how the payment is calculated - you can find out more about redundancy payments here.

Further information

You can get more information about the Redundancy Payments Scheme on welfare.ie and on the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU)'s website inou.ie.

Page edited: 12 August 2019