There is no such rule for redundancy payments unfortunately (meaning that the number of employees you have has no impact on this).
What you have done here is laid these employees off. As an alternative to dismissal, an employer may wish to deal with an unexpected downturn in business by laying off employees (asking them not to come into work) or putting them on short-time working (reducing their working hours/days). The legal definitions of these two options are:
· Lay off - if an employee has been told to go home for at least one full working day.
· Short-time working - if an employee's pay for the week is less than half a normal week's pay.
It is only possible to lay off employees or put them on short-time working when an express or implied contractual right to do so exists. If such a right does not exist the employer will be acting in breach of contract and that could allow the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal or pursue the employer for unpaid wages.
If there is a clause allowing the employer to do this, or the employee agrees to it, for example in order to avoid redundancy, certain rights will apply after a set period of time. If someone has been laid off or placed on short-time working for 4 consecutive weeks, or a total of 6 weeks within a 13-week reference period, they would be able to ask the employer to make them redundant. There is a strict procedure that needs to be followed and more details can be found here:
The steps outlined in the procedure must be followed correctly for the employee to be able to rely on this protection. If the criteria are satisfied and they have more than 2 years’ service, they can avoid being left laid off or on short working hours and leave the employer getting redundancy in the process, allowing them to move on whilst getting some compensation for being placed in this position.
However, if they have not followed the correct procedure you do not have to pay redundancy and can expect them ton return back to work – as long as they have a job going for them (their usual job or something very similar), they will not be made redundant.
Does this answer your query?