Redundancy and Lay-off / Short-time work

23 Feb 2012

There has been a marked increase in the numbers of people being asked to move from full-time employment to a lay-off or short-time employment. The following article provides key information in relation to an Employees rights and entitlements to Redundancy if moved to lay-off or short-term employment.


Lay-off: A lay-off situation arises where your employer is temporarily unable to provide work for you.

Short-Time: A short-time situation arises where, due to a reduction in the amount of work to be done, your pay or hours are less than half the normal weekly amount.

In both cases these must be temporary situations and your employer must notify you before they start, ideally by using Part A of form RP9 (available from Workplace Relations Customer Services).

Your employer can lay you off or put you on short time if it is in your contract of employment or it is custom and practice in your workplace. Otherwise your employer should not lay you off or put you on short time without your agreement. However if you do not agree you may be made redundant.

Claiming Redundancy:

If a lay-off or a short-time situation exists and has continued for 4 weeks or more, or for 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks, you may give your employer a notice in writing of your intention to claim redundancy under the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967-2007. You must do this no later than 4 weeks after the period of lay off or short time has ended.

Unless your employer gives you a counter-notice within 7 days of your notice, you may be entitled to a redundancy payment provided that you qualify for redundancy. If your employer gives you a counter-notice within the allotted time, it must be to the effect that within 4 weeks of the date of your claim for redundancy, it will be possible to offer you not less than 13 weeks work without lay off or short time.

You should note that if you claim redundancy in this way you are considered to have left your job voluntarily and therefore you will lose any right to notice from your employer under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973-2001. However if you have been laid off and you are subsequently made redundant by your employer you do not lose your notice entitlements.

How to Apply for Redundancy in a lay-off situation:

You may give your employer notice of your intention to claim a redundancy payment in a lay-off or short-time situation on form RP9 (available from Workplace Relations Customer Services).
If your employer has not paid your redundancy lump sum, you should apply to your employer for it using form RP77 (available from Workplace Relations Customer Services - see 'Further information' below). If your employer still refuses to pay it, you can apply to the Department of Social Protection for direct payment from the Social Insurance Fund. You apply online using form RP50 as follows:

  • If your employer is unable to pay your redundancy lump sum, they should sign the RP50 and submit a letter from an accountant or solicitor stating they are unable to pay and accepting liability for the 85% (since 1 January 2012) owing to the Social Insurance Fund. Documentary evidence such as audited accounts should also be included.
  • If your employer refuses to pay your redundancy lump sum or if there is a dispute about redundancy you can bring a claim to the Employment Appeals Tribunal using the new single complaint form (pdf) and guidance notes (pdf). This must be done within one year of your dismissal. Then you apply for your lump sum by sending a completed form RP50 together with a favorable decision from the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

You should send your application for payment from the Social Insurance Fund to the Redundancy Payments Section, Floor 2, Department of Social Protection, Block C, The Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2.

You can request a form by texting "FORM REDUNDANCY" followed by your name and address to 51909 (standard text rates apply).

You can read more about your redundancy entitlements in the booklet Guide to the Redundancy Payments Scheme (pdf). You may also be interested in reading through this list of frequently asked questions about redundancy.

For further information about the Redundancy Payments Scheme contact Workplace Relations Customer Services or by telephone: (059) 917 8990 or Locall: 1890 80 80 90