What Does Redundant Mean?

Redundant – or redundancy – is when a business or employer has to reduce their workforce because some jobs or roles are no longer required.

It’s worth noting that if you lose your job because it’s considered redundant, but the position is filled by someone else, this is not a redundancy. Employers need to be aware of this, and employees need to know their rights.

If you are an employer, it’s vital to understand that you can only reorganize your workforce if it doesn’t violate any anti-discrimination statutes.

What Are the Common Reasons for Redundancy?

There are many reasons why a position could be made redundant. Here are some of the most common:

  • Another company has bought out your business, and your role is no longer required
  • The role that you were initially hired for no longer exists
  • The business you work for is closing down
  • The business you work for is moving locations
  • New technology has come along, and the role you were hired for is no longer relevant or necessary

What Are Your Rights If You Are Made Redundant?

As mentioned above, employees must know their rights if they are made redundant.

Collective Redundancies

If the business you work for has 100 or more employees, then employees must be given 60 days’ written notice under the WARN act. This is when there is:

  • A closure that has more than 50 or more employees at a single site receiving termination

In addition, the same notice should be given if there are are:

  • 500 terminations at one site
  • 50 terminations that are representative of 33% of people at one given site

It’s also required that employers provide notice to local government authorities and unions, if applicable.

If you are an employer, you can be subject to large penalties if you do not give adequate notice.


See our full list of over 50 Small Business Terms here


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