Technically speaking, there is generally no legal obligation to offer an appeal against dismissal in a redundancy situation.
When considering appeals in redundancy dismissal situations, your first port of call should be the Acas Code of Practice. It is recommended by Acas that in cases of disciplinary and performance, an appeal process should be in place. However, this is not always the case and also does not apply to redundancy dismissals. There is no official legal status on this matter.
An employee can appeal against being made redundant if they believe that they were unfairly selected, or that you (the employer) did not follow a fair redundancy process. They have five working days in which to do so. They may appeal for a variety of reasons, including allegations of discrimination, or allegations that the dismissal is unfair.
It may be in your own policies and procedures that there is a collective agreement which holds a bearing on redundancy appeals, therefore, it would be worth checking this. If this is the case, and your redundancy policy does give the right to an appeal then you should offer one. Of course, this is dependent on the fact that the employee qualifies for unfair dismissal rights and has over two years’ employment. If you do not follow your own procedure, that is probably going to make the dismissal unfair.
Any appeal should be dealt with promptly, by an independent person who did not take part in the original redundancy decision. If this is not possible, then the employer should consider instructing an external HR consultation to undertake the appeal. Once the appeal has been decided, you will need to send a follow-up letter confirming the outcome of the employee’s appeal. This outcome may involve reinstatement or may uphold the original decision.
Please find below relevant case law in respect to offering appeals in redundancy dismissal situations.
Robinson v Ulster Carpet Mills  IRLR 348:
In this case, three employees were made redundant and they claimed that they had been unfairly dismissed due to not being given a right of appeal, even though employees dismissed for misconduct did have such a right. The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland said that in the absence of special facts, an appeal procedure was not required before dismissal for redundancy and could be found to be fair.
Granted this case is fairly old and holds no statute in England however it is still an important case to read up on when considering appeals in redundancy dismissal situations. It might also be worth reading up on Gwynedd Council v Shelley Barratt & Anor. This is a recent case in which the claimants were made redundant. The Employment Tribunal found their dismissals to be unfair on a few bases, one being, that they had not been offered a right of appeal against the decision to dismiss them.
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