Shortly after I was made redundant, my ex-employer ran an ad for a post similar to mine. What should I do?

If you were made redundant – that is, you were told that your job was no longer needed – but you get clear evidence later that this was not the case, you can claim unfair dismissal.

Even if the job advertised is not the same as the one you did, but is sufficiently close that you might be able to do it, you could still have a case.

This is because your employer should have actively investigated the possibility of suitable alternative employment for you when you were faced with redundancy. It may appear to a tribunal, after looking at the evidence, that this avenue was not properly explored.

But it is also possible that circumstances have changed since you left. Your former employer could argue that there was no prospect of a suitable alternative job when you were declared redundant, but that, for example, since you left, a new unexpected order has come in.

Your employer should be looking for suitable alternative roles for you right up to your last day of employment. 

Remember that tribunal deadlines are very short – just three months.

The first step in any tribunal claim is to contact Acas by submitting an Acas Early Conciliation Notification Form. If you want to claim that your selection from redundancy was unfair, you must submit the Form to Acas within three months of your dismissal date, otherwise the tribunal will not be able to consider your claim.

Acas conciliation is free, and it is an opportunity to try to settle the dispute without a tribunal claim. If Acas conciliation fails (or if you or your employer choose not to participate in Acas conciliation), Acas will issue an early conciliation certificate. You will need the number on this certificate to bring your claim.

The deadline for issuing your claim in the tribunal should appear on the certificate. Normally at this stage, you will have around one month in which to bring the claim. There is more information in this Acas leaflet: Acas early conciliation explained (PDF).

All the deadlines in the employment tribunal are extremely tight and if you miss them, the tribunal is unlikely to consider your claim. Take advice from your union rep and make sure you don’t leave taking any step until the last minute.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.