5. Chiefly Brit.
a. The condition of being surplus to an organization's staffing requirements; (hence) the state or fact of losing a job for this reason.
[1924 Times 19 June 11/3 The redundancy of permanent officers in the executive class has not been reduced as rapidly as was at one time hoped.]
1931 Economist 11 Apr. 780/1 Such economics create redundancy of staff and unemployment rather than increased employment.
1934 Planning2xxvi. 3 The shipbuilding and wool textiles industries have succeeded in establishing common instruments with which to combat redundancy.
1952 Economist 12 July 77 The strike against redundancy is a comparatively new phenomenon in industrial relations.
1972 Accountant 5 Oct. 420/1 Should a staff surveyor become redundant, redundancy pay would be considered, the maximum benefit being limited to one month's pay (based on salary at the date of redundancy) for every completed year's service.
2001 Independent 26 Mar. i. 8/1 Four members of staff face redundancy, and others re-assignment and the downgrading of their jobs.
b. An instance or individual case of unemployment due to reorganization, mechanization, loss of business, etc. Chiefly in pl.
1936 Economist 11 July 69/1 It is to be hoped that the number of redundancies..will not prove so large as to inflict great hardship on those who have certainly had no part in producing the present state of affairs.
1948 Times 9 Oct. 3/2 Redundancies among junior engineers are likely to be recurrent..and eventually another 200 men are likely to be affected.
1977 M. DrabbleIce Ageii. 240 There isn't any work. There's large-scale unemployment. Redundancies everywhere.
2000 PrintWeek 25 Feb. 3/1 The GPMU has brought to a tribunal a claim for unfair dismissal following redundancies at Polestar Techset last May.
redundant, adj and n
5. Chiefly Brit.
a. Of a person: no longer needed in a particular job or place of employment; (hence) unemployed because of reorganization, mechanization, change in demand, etc.
1908 Times 28 Sept. 8/4 Instead of dismissing men of lower grades in the service, why not dismiss redundant officials?
1928 Britain's Industr. Future (Liberal Industr. Inq.) xxv. 358 We reach, finally, the pressing, but difficult, problem of the redundant workers. When everything possible has been done..there is little doubt that we shall still have to deal with a large surplus of labour in the coal-mining industry.
1969 H. E. BatesVanished World xii. 156 Nowadays,..it would no doubt be said that I became redundant. I prefer the old way: I was unexpectedly sacked.
2003 Daily Mail (Nexis) 30 May 15 York City Council fears as many as 45 teachers and classroom assistants will be made redundant, most because of stretched finances.