· News

Most employees are unaware of their employment rights concerning redundancy

UK employees' biggest fears are redundancy and pay cuts but most are unaware of their employment rights, putting them at risk of unfair treatment, according to new research from Which?

In a survey of over 4,000 employees, the consumer champion found more than a quarter (27%) of adults were worried about being made redundant, and a similar number (24%) were concerned that their employer might reduce or freeze their pay.

The survey also found 6% of respondents were made redundant in the past two years, while 10% endured a pay freeze. But when quizzed on their rights in these situations, 98% were unable to answer key questions correctly.

Half of Brits mistakenly believed that they would always have the right to a redundancy payment from their employer, when legally they would have to have worked for them continuously for at least two years and 70% were unaware of the amount of redundancy payment they are entitled to depends on their age.

Almost half had no idea employers can choose who to make redundant based on a ‘last in, first out' basis and 58% mistakenly believed their boss could change their employment terms by giving them 30 days' notice.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, said: "Our research shows most people would have absolutely no idea what their rights were if faced with redundancy or a pay cut. Ignorance is anything but bliss in these situations - it really does pay to know where you stand."