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Prior to March 2020, if an employee was laid-off or put on short-time for (i) four or more consecutive weeks, or (ii) six or more weeks within a 13 week period of which not more than three are consecutive, the employee was entitled to notify their employer in writing of their intention to claim a statutory redundancy payment assuming they satisfied the qualifying criteria, for example, having at least two years’ continuous service. On giving notice, an employee would be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if their employer could not give them counter-notice within seven days of the employee’s notice. The employer’s counter-notice should be to the effect that within four weeks of the employee’s service of notice of intention to claim, the employee will be offered at least 13 weeks’ work with the employer without lay-off or short-time.

It is important to be aware that an employee’s right to claim a redundancy payment has not been removed, but merely deferred for a specified period for those employees on temporary lay-off and short-time. Employers should therefore continue to be mindful of an employees’ rights to claim statutory redundancy payments, and the cost of these payments to employers, once such entitlements are reinstated.

Extension of Access to Pandemic Unemployment Payment (“PUP”)

It was also announced that new applicants will be able to apply for the PUP up to 31 March 2021. Prior to the announcement, the cut-off date was 31 December 2020. The Government press release is available here.