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We read news stories everyday about the decline of the traditional High Street and physical stores and the rise of the virtual internet retailer. There is a lot of evidence to back up the switch from one to the other but what if you work for a company that is going to make the switch?

 

The recent speculation that Majestic Wines potentially plans to close all of their physical stores and move their business 100% online under the Naked Wines banner has raised an interesting question.

 

What happens if you’re working in a shop and your employer tells you that regretfully they will be closing the doors permanently and opening a website instead?

 

What rights or recourse do you have? The answer is some.

 

If a business is undergoing dramatic changes then redundancies may be made or jobs may have to change to fit the new organisation.

 

Regarding redundancy itself there remain some requirements for a company to follow, whether it’s online, physical or both.

 

The first is that a fair process is followed for the selection of posts to be made redundant. Secondly, that there is genuine consultation with employees about redundancy. This can be done collectively if there are 20 or more employees in the business or it can be done individually if there are 19 or less.

 

The final requirement is that all contractual or statutory notice periods are followed and if there is any disbursement of redundancy pay due then it should be paid by the company itself.

 

If, on the other hand, a business fails financially and can’t pay any staff redundancy entitlements due then the employees may be paid by the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS), which is run by the Insolvency Service, up to certain statutory limits. This happens once the company enters a formal insolvency procedure.

 

If your role is being considered for redundancy you can work out how much you could be owed using our calculator. You can also find out if you are due any other recompense including any unpaid wages owing, notice or holidays.

Directors of companies can also apply for redundancy payments. Many do not realise that they could also be eligible but we can advise depending on both their and the company’s circumstances.