New Bill to improve redundancy pay

BECTU is lending its support to a Private Members’ Bill which seeks to change the law on statutory redundancy pay.

The Statutory Redundancy (Amendment Bill), submitted by Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley, will be launched at the House of Commons on Wednesday 4 March 2009.

“BECTU, along with every other trade union, knows that payment under the statutory redundancy scheme bears little comparison with actual earnings.”

The Bill seeks an increase in statutory redundancy pay to bring the level of payment in line with average earnings.

The level of statutory redundancy pay which applies depends on a person’s age, however, calculations are based on payment of a maximum £350 per week.

If Mr Hoyle’s Bill is successful, and wins Government backing, it is calculated that three out of every four workers would be substantially better off as a result.

Trade unions have long pressed for improvements in the level of statutory redundancy pay; the issue is now of critical importance given the economic downturn.

“BECTU, along with every other trade union, knows that payment under the statutory redundancy scheme bears little comparison with actual earnings. BECTU members who have to rely on the scheme for support when they lose their jobs deserve far better financial help than is currently provided.”

“We support Lindsay Hoyle’s Bill and call on our members to write to their MPs to make sure that they support it too,” commented BECTU’s General Secretary Gerry Morrissey.

Press release issued Friday, 27 February 2009 Unite’s Press and Campaigns Department.

  • Launch of Lindsay Hoyle MP’s Statutory Redundancy (Amendment) Bill
  • Committee Room 16, House of Commons
  • 1030 Wednesday 4th March 2009

Lindsay Hoyle will be joined by workers, MPs, Brendan Barber (TUC General Secretary), Tony Woodley (Unite Joint General Secretary), Derek Simpson (Unite Joint General Secretary) and John Hannett (Usdaw General Secretary)

MPs and unions unite to stop the rot on redundancy pay

Workers denied thousands of pounds when made redundant because they received only the legal minimum in redundancy pay will (on Wednesday, 4th March) back a Bill aimed at giving workers a fairer deal in hard times.

Lindsay Hoyle MP’s Statutory Redundancy (Amendment) Bill is set for its second reading in the Commons on Friday 13 March. The Bill aims to uprate the state minimum for redundancy pay bringing it into line with average earnings, a move which would benefit three out of every four workers and go some way towards challenging the UK’s reputation as a country where it is cheap and easy to sack workers.

While the Bill is yet to receive government backing, improving redundancy pay was a commitment made as part of the Warwick agreement, and the Bill is supported by the country’s major unions and a growing number of Labour MPs are indicating that they will be attending the crucial second reading in order to push the Bill through to its next stages.

The Bill will be published on 4 March 2009 when workers who have lost out on thousands of pounds worth of redundancy pay, because their employers paid only the state minimum and not a sum in line with their earnings, will join MPs and union leaders at its Commons launch.

Current scheme is a ceiling for workers, not a floor to protect them

"When redundancy pay was introduced in 1965 it was a progressive measure, designed to help workers through hard times. But it has been allowed to wither drastically in value so that it is now worth around only half of earnings," said Lindsay Hoyle MP.

"Today, workers are very much facing hard times again but state redundancy pay is so out of step with average earnings it acts as a ceiling for workers, not a floor to protect them.

"It is time to stop this forty year rot so that when workers are laid off they receive what they’re rightfully owed, and to end the national shame of our workers being among the cheapest to sack in Europe."

The Bill is supported by Unite, GMB, Unison, CWU, USDAW, Ucatt, Community, TSSA, Aslef, the Trade Union Liaison Organisation and the TUC.

For further information, please contact Pauline Doyle (Unite Head of Press and Campaigns) on 07976 832 861.

Notes to Editors:
Lindsay Hoyle came third in this session’s private member’s ballot.

Friday 27 February 2009