One news story that has rocked the careers world over the last few months is the P&O Ferries case where it was reported that 800 staff were made redundant without warning. A case where £36.5million in total was offered in redundancy money but questions lingered on whether the move was legal. Controversy stood over the way that the company sacked workers in March - over video message - which caused outrage. Vessels remained docked in Dover and in recent weeks we have seen many delays for those going on holiday.
Outside of the scandal though, where do you stand if you have been made redundant and what are your rights?
It’s an unfortunate and daunting time being made redundant. It’s the unexpected on how you’ll make ends meet and questions loom on what’s next for you and for family. There are laws in place for this very reason to ensure that you aren’t left in the dark in this instance. Each case is different and depends entirely on your circumstances. Sometimes you may be able to apply for a number of payments from the Insolvency Service. This includes redundancy pay if you have been with your employer for more than two years - your entitlement can be worked out with the statutory redundancy calculator and claimed for within six months. There is also holiday pay for unused leave and holiday you’ve taken but not been paid for, as well as money owed by your employer for any overtime, commission or unpaid wages, and finally statutory notice pay if you’ve been with your employer for at least a month.
There are a number of tools that can help calculate how much you’re owed. Both your employer and the GOV.UK website will have more information about the upcoming payments.
How to Apply and Claim
When you’ve done your research and discovered how much you’re due there are two separate applications that need to be completed online. You’ll need to have your CN number ready which the insolvency practitioner looking after the case will be able to give you. These two forms are to claim redundancy pay and other money owed (RP1) and also Claim loss of notice pay (RP2). The forms will take less than an hour to complete and need to be done in full - so make sure you’ve got time spare to do it in one. You’ll need details such as your bank account, National Insurance number, gross rate of pay, etc, to complete the form as well as an email address. You’ll also be asked if you want to claim compensation for loss of notice too which is the RP2 application. This form will need an LN reference number to make a claim which will be sent to you after filling in the RP1 form.
How Long Will it Take to Get the Funds?
Again, it’s all case dependent with some payments being distributed quicker than others. The government will pay each part as soon as it’s ready - so be prepared for multiple payments. You need to ensure that all details provided on the form are correct so do make sure that each piece of information provided is accurate. It’s expected that you’ll receive payment within six weeks of completing the application - that includes holiday pay, redundancy pay and arrears of pay.
If you’re stuck in limbo thinking what your next move is, there are a number of benefits you can apply for whilst you’re looking for your next opportunity. This includes Universal Credit and New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance. It’s vital that you keep any letters or screenshots of emails of acceptance of rejection notices that confirm what you’re eligible for with these employment related benefits.
In the case of P&O Ferries where it was reported that employees were not consulted prior to being made redundant, staff may have been entitled to a protective award which is a type of compensation payment. This can be claimed for at an employment tribunal and there are plenty of articles online and advice from advisers, like ourselves, who will be able to put you in the right direction.
Facing redundancy in all lines of work at any point in your life is a stressful time. It can be tough to see the wood through the trees and think about what your next step is. At Omega we provide a wide range of temporary, contract and permanent opportunities, in partnership with leading employers nationwide. We’ll work with you to find that perfect role to get you back on the ladder. Speak to our team on 01453 827333 to see how we can help you or visit our website to view our latest opportunities here.
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