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In certain circumstances where a position is no longer viable, an employer is entitled to terminate an employee's contract of employment.

However a genuine redundancy situation must exist in that an employer must demonstrate that functions carried out by that employee are no longer required or can be carried out by its remaining employees. This often results from a downturn in business or related re-structuring of the organisation.

Proper procedures must be complied with by an employer and those procedures vary depending on whether it is an individual or collective redundancy situation.

Before any employee is selected for redundancy, the employer must consult with the employee concerned. Objective and fair selection criteria must be applied to select any employee over another and consideration must be given as to whether that employee might be re-deployed elsewhere in the organisation.

Certain grounds for selection will automatically be deemed unfair and those include: gender, age, race, religion, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, disability and membership of the travelling community.

The correct period of notice must be given and notice should be given in the appropriate form.

Failure to adhere to proper and fair procedures can result in an employee successfully claiming that he or she was unfairly dismissed and a claim being maintained for up to two years’ remuneration.

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