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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Termination payments and benefits: redundancy payments: statutory redundancy payments

Section 309 ITEPA 2003

A statutory redundancy payment made under:

  • the Employment Rights Act 1996, or
  • the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

is exempt from liability to tax as earnings (see EIM00515) but falls within Section 401 ITEPA 2003 as specific employment income (see EIM00512).

In practice there is unlikely to be tax payable under Section 401 ITEPA 2003 because most statutory payments are less than the £30,000 threshold (see EIM13505). However all payments in respect of a termination must be added together in applying that threshold (see EIM13530).

Background

A statutory redundancy payment is due where an employee is made redundant with at least 2 years’ service. This includes an employee working under a fixed-term contract agreed, renewed or extended since 1 October 2002. Office-holders such as directors qualify if they work under a contract of employment. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 removed the upper age limit of 65 but not the age-banded method of calculating payments (see below). Members of the armed forces, Parliamentary staff, Crown servants and some others cannot qualify.

A statutory redundancy payment is due only where the employee is dismissed (as compared with resignation). For this purpose, an employee volunteering for redundancy is dismissed. If the employee leaves before the redundancy date by agreement, payment remains due.

Statutory redundancy pay is calculated as the total of:

  • for each complete year of service where age during year less than 22, ½ a week’s pay
  • for each complete year of service where age during year is between 22 and 40, 1 week’s pay
  • for each complete year of service where age during year is 41+, 1 ½ week’s pay

NB

  • service longer than 20 years does not count
  • a “week’s pay” is the amount due under the employment contract on the date that the minimum notice of termination was or should have been given. The minimum is 1 week per year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks. A week’s pay cannot exceed a specified figure. (£350 from 1 February 2009; £380 from 1 October 2010 (note the exceptional date); £400 from 1 February 2011; £430 from 1 February 2012; £450 from 1 February 2013; £464 from 6 April 2014)