Redundancy and sick leave

09 July 2019

Redundancy procedures can be tricky at the best of times. But making someone redundant whilst on sick leave is often a difficult task for businesses to approach.

It’s a very common question from business. “Can I make someone redundant who is on sick leave?” To assist here we have taken a look at several frequently asked questions.

These will help you to understand how to approach making a member of your team if they’re off due to sickness. However, for any other questions, you can find answers by contacting us for redundancy advice.

Can employees face redundancy whilst on sick leave?

Many staff members will wonder about it: “Can you be made redundant whilst on sick leave?” And it’s a simple answer from a business perspective. Yes, it’s possible to make a member of your team redundant if they’re off sick. However, it would be inappropriate to base a decision to make someone redundant on their health, as this could lead to claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination. As an employer, you’ll need to show your decision to make a member of staff redundant was genuine and based on a legitimate business case. It can either be due to a significant reduction of work or the complete closure of the business.

Should I consult with a staff member whilst they’re off?

Making an employee redundant whilst on sick leave is a difficult task to approach. It’s vital to follow the correct redundancy procedure and ensure an employee on any sickness related time off receives treatment no different to other employees. This will stop claims of unfair dismissal. So it’s important you notify a staff member of potential redundancy. At the same time as their colleagues and kept up to date with any future developments. If an employee is unable to attend work to take part in the consultation process, then you should communicate with them via email or letter. On top of those tasks, you should also make sure you receive acknowledgment of any correspondence you send them.

Are employees on sick leave entitled to statutory redundancy pay?

Redundancy during any time off is a difficult prospect some employees may have to face at a point in their careers. And one of the first questions they’ll likely ask you is, “Do you get paid sick leave when made redundant?” It’s important to remember your staff has sick leave entitlement. And there is sometimes sick leave payout on redundancy. But many employers are unsure if employees’ rights to statutory redundancy pay change if they’re on long-term sick and receive statutory sick pay. In this situation eligible staff, with a minimum of two years’ service, can still claim statutory redundancy pay. The exact amount will vary depending on their weekly:

  • Pay.
  • Age.
  • Length of service.

Does unused sick leave on redundancy factor into pay?

No, it isn’t part of the calculation for statutory redundancy pay—as shown above.

Can I ask an employee to take voluntary redundancy?

When offering voluntary redundancy to staff members, you should ensure those on sick leave receive the same treatment as other staff. However, you must be careful when offering this as under the Employment Rights Act 1996 it’s still a dismissal. “Can I take voluntary redundancy whilst on sick leave?” It’s also a common question from It’s important to carry out the correct procedure including consulting with the individual and informing them of their rights to avoid unfair dismissal claims.

Need more help?

Get in touch with us and we’ll help you to work out how redundancy during sickness works. Call us today on: 0800 028 2420.

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