Many domestic workers, employers and agencies assume that because of the unique circumstances that exist between in domestic employment, they don’t qualify for redundancy pay. But providing you meet the requirements you are entitled to redundancy pay just like any other employee.
Do I Qualify?
To qualify you must be 18 or over and have at least two years continuous employment. This means that you must have been working for the same employer, without any breaks, apart from maternity, sickness and unpaid leave, for at least two years. You must also be working as an employee under an employment contract and have a PAYE scheme set up on your behalf. This does not mean that you need to have a written contract, as some employers unfortunately don't provide this. You are still considered an employee working under a contract even if there is nothing in writing.
If your employer's circumstances change and they no longer have a full-time job for you, and they want to employ somebody on a part-time basis, they are required to first offer the 'new' position to the you, the existing employee. If you choose not to continue working for them under the new conditions you are still entitled to redundancy pay, unless you are on a fixed term contract.
You will also qualify for redundancy pay if your employer moves to a different part of the country, providing there is no relocation clause in your contract.
How much will I get?
How much redundancy pay you are entitled to is dependent on your age. Please see the rates and thresholds page for current redundancy pay rates.
As an employee on PAYE you are legally entitled to these amounts; however, your employer is free to pay you more than the statutory minimum at their own discretion. They cannot claim any part of the costs back from the state. You do not have to pay tax on redundancy payments up to £30,000. If your employer refuses to pay, you must make a written request to them within six months and then be prepared to follow this up.
How will I cope?
Being made redundant is never easy, not only can unexpected redundancy leave you in a financially difficult situation; it can also wreak havoc with your self-esteem. There is still a lot of stigma attached to redundancy and you may temporarily feel that you have lost your sense of purpose. But keep in mind that an unexpected break can bring about life-changing opportunities, so try to stay positive. Give yourself time to assess your goals, re-work your CV and talk to others about your experience. You may also want to grab this opportunity to take a course to add to your skills. And when you go to interviews, be honest about your situation. Most domestic employers know that redundancy is more common in domestic employment than any other profession.