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In today’s dynamic economic landscape, businesses often face the challenging task of navigating redundancies. Whether due to economic downturns, technological advancements, or restructuring needs, the redundancy process is a crucial aspect of business operations. In Ireland, specific legal frameworks govern redundancy procedures, ensuring fairness and compliance with the law. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of redundancy processes in Ireland from a legal perspective, outlining the key steps and procedures employers must follow.

Understanding Redundancy

Before delving into the procedural aspects, it’s essential to grasp the concept of redundancy. In Ireland, redundancy occurs when an employer terminates an employee’s contract due to the cessation or reduction of work of a particular kind. This can stem from various reasons such as company reorganisation, economic downturn, or technological changes rendering certain roles obsolete.

Legal Framework

The primary legislation governing redundancy in Ireland is the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967-2014. This legislation outlines the rights of employees in the event of redundancy and the obligations of employers concerning redundancy payments and procedures. Additionally, other relevant laws, such as the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015, provide further protections for employees.

Fair Selection Criteria

One of the fundamental principles of redundancy is fairness. Employers must follow fair and objective selection criteria when identifying employees for redundancy. Common selection criteria include skills, qualifications, performance, length of service, and disciplinary record. It’s crucial for employers to apply these criteria consistently and transparently to avoid allegations of unfairness or discrimination.

Consultation Process

In Ireland, employers are required to engage in a consultation process with employees potentially affected by redundancy. This process involves informing employees of the proposed redundancies, discussing the reasons behind them, and exploring alternatives to redundancy, such as redeployment or retraining opportunities. The consultation should be meaningful and conducted in good faith, allowing employees to voice their concerns and provide input.

Redundancy Payments

Under Irish law, employees who are made redundant are entitled to statutory redundancy payments. The amount of redundancy payment depends on the employee’s length of service, up to a maximum of two weeks’ pay per year of service, plus a bonus week. Employers must ensure timely payment of redundancy entitlements and provide employees with written notice of their entitlements.

Statutory Notice Periods

In addition to redundancy payments, employees are entitled to receive statutory notice periods or payment in lieu of notice. The length of the notice period depends on the employee’s length of service, ranging from one to eight weeks. Employers must adhere to these statutory notice requirements unless the employment contract provides for a longer notice period.

Collective Redundancies

In cases where multiple redundancies are proposed within a short timeframe, employers must adhere to specific procedures for collective redundancies. This involves notifying relevant government bodies, engaging in collective consultation with employee representatives, and providing advance notice to affected employees. The purpose of these procedures is to facilitate meaningful dialogue and minimize the impact of redundancies on employees and their communities.

Legal Pitfalls to Avoid

Employers must exercise caution to avoid potential legal pitfalls throughout the redundancy process. Common mistakes include:

Failing to consult with employees in a timely and meaningful manner.

Using unfair or discriminatory selection criteria.

Failing to provide employees with their statutory entitlements, including redundancy payments and notice periods.

Ignoring collective consultation requirements in the case of collective redundancies.

Dismissing employees for reasons unrelated to genuine redundancy.


Navigating redundancy procedures in Ireland can be complex, but adherence to legal requirements is essential to ensure fairness and compliance. By understanding the legal framework, following fair selection criteria, engaging in meaningful consultation, and fulfilling statutory obligations, employers can navigate the redundancy process effectively while safeguarding the rights of their employees.

If you’re an employer facing redundancy challenges or an employee seeking guidance on your rights, it’s essential to seek professional legal advice. Contact us today to speak with our experienced team and ensure your redundancy process is handled with care and compliance.


Here are some reputable sources that can provide further information on redundancy procedures in Ireland:

Citizens Information: A government-supported website providing comprehensive information on various legal topics, including redundancy in Ireland.

Source: Citizens Information – Redundancy

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: The official government department responsible for labour and employment issues, offering guidance and resources on redundancy laws and procedures.

Source: Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment – Redundancy Payments

Irish Statute Book: An online database providing access to Irish legislation, including the Redundancy Payments Acts and other relevant laws.

Source: Irish Statute Book – Redundancy Payments Acts 1967-2014

Employment Appeals Tribunal: An independent body that adjudicates employment disputes in Ireland, including cases related to redundancy and unfair dismissal.

Source: Employment Appeals Tribunal – Decisions

Legal Practitioners: Seeking advice from qualified employment law practitioners or law firms specialising in employment law can provide tailored guidance and support for navigating redundancy procedures.

Source: Local law firms or legal practitioners specialising in employment law.

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