I have been in my current Software Developer role for just over a year. The company is a small one- 7 employees in total, 5 full time & 2 part time.

Yesterday, the owner/ director asked to speak to me, and let me know that due to the situation with one of our clients, they're going to have to let me go.

That client is our oldest client, and they have recently been bought out by a much larger company- since the new controlling company already do all of the work that we do in house, our services are no longer required.

Since one of my colleagues left the company about 6 months ago, the vast majority of my work has been for this client who are now terminating their contract with us- hence why I'm being made redundant. We do have other clients, who I was mainly working for when I first joined, but that work has been taken on by someone who joined after me.

I have very much enjoyed my time at the company, get on well with everyone there, and find the work interesting, it's just unfortunate that they are no longer going to be able to keep me on. My boss (the owner/ director) did say yesterday, that if things were to change/ pick up in the future, he would be very happy to hire me back. So overall, working here has been a very positive experience.

My question is, should I ask for compensation for being let go? I don't know whether I am entitled to any, or whether it's appropriate, and nothing was mentioned in my meeting with my boss yesterday. My contract states that either party can terminate the contract by giving one month's written notice- which I received yesterday.

My understanding of redundancy is that usually, people receive some kind of compensation for it.

My contract is/ was a permanent one, so would that mean that I am entitled to some form of compensation (nothing is mentioned about compensation in the 'termination of contract' clause in the contract)? I don't want to burn any bridges by enquiring about it, as I would happily come back to work here again in the future, should circumstances allow, so probably best not to enquire? Just wondering whether it's something worth doing, as I have not been in this position before...

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    We can't offer legal advice on here. As you are in the UK, however, I'd recommend speaking to someone at the Citizens' Advice Bureau. They offer excellent (and free) legal advice. Take along a copy of your contract. There are laws in the UK that cover situations such as yours. Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 11:38
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    In the UK employers aren't obliged to offer redundancy pay unless you've been working for more than 2 years. gov.uk/staff-redundant/redundancy-pay
    – RJFalconer
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 11:41
  • I don't feel this is a bad question - it's not just asking for legal advice, but whether it's at all appropriate to try to ask for compensation (even when not legally required) when made redundant. That's a perfectly fair thing to ask, and I'm sure at least somebody has been in that situation and can give perspective on how a request like that would be perceived.
    – user81330
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 12:24
  • @someone2088 Please email me using user name roficutme backwards, at the popular email service by Google, if you are interested in answer I had typed up on your most recent question, as it was closed before I could submit it. I will delete this comment soon.
    – CodeSeeker
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 21:21

3 Answers 3


Given you have only been in post just over a year, then your months' notice is all they have to give you. Your employer can choose to be more generous but most won't.

Had you been there for more than 2 years you would have been eligible for statutory redundancy pay, which is what I believe you were thinking of.

An overview of your rights can be found here:- https://www.gov.uk/redundant-your-rights

As one of the comments above says if you want to know more go to your local Citizens' Advice Bureau.

  • Thanks for your answer- statutory redundancy pay is what I was thinking of, so like you said, I am not eligible for that. Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 12:34
  • The question wasn't about what the company legally has to do, but whether asking them to do something they don't have to do legally is worthwhile. If my company did exactly what they have to do by law and nothing more, and I did exactly what I have to do by law and nothing more, we both wouldn't be happy with the result.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 10:03

So sorry to hear about your situation, This is the fee calculator. But, you have to work for at least 2 years. If you're to leave immediately, you might get paid for unused holidays.


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    Actually, you will get paid for unused holidays.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 22:50

Of course you should ask. If you don't ask, you don't get. If you do ask, you might still not get anything, because there is no legal obligation to pay you beyond your notice period within the first year of employment, but it doesn't hurt asking.

If you stay over two years, you get a redundancy payment that increases with every year you work, so a very nice employer might pay you the amount for the one year you worked there. It's not very much, on the other hand, that money tends to keep employees happier working their notice period, and redundancy payment above the legal requirements usually comes with a contract that says you won't sue the company for being laid off.

Anyway, put your CV up on LinkedIn, go to job websites and apply, which will usually not get you a job directly but wakes up all the agencies who will try to get you a job, because that's how they make their money.

  • Only risk with asking is burning the relationship with the owner. While the only way to find out, if the owner is willing to pay is to ask, it also comes with a risk. There is a good chance that, the loss of the client, is a sign of things to come for that company. You leaving might actually be a blessing in disguise in a few months. You currently are leaving on good terms, and have a reference who presumely will give you a good recommendation, strive to keep that relationship.
    – Donald
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 11:30
  • @Ramhound Have you read Oiver Twist? "MORE? You want MORE?". That was Oliver Twist. It's not real life. Speaking up for yourself gets you respect. The company owner may not pay you anything more, but he or she will respect you more for asking.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 19:06

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