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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44933
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have recently been led to believe I was being made redundant

Customer Question

I have recently been led to believe I was being made redundant due to a staff restructuring at the company I work for. The whole process has stressed me out to the point it has affected my mental and physical health. I have accepted the voluntary redundancy package I was presented with and looked forward to leaving due to the way I have been feeling only to be informed recently that my position is no longer being made redundant. I have argued the way this has been dealt with by management because of the stress it has caused me and the affect it has had on my mental and physical well being, but they are refusing to let me go despite coming to agreements with other members of staff in similar positions. I feel I now have no choice now but to the leave the company anyway and feel I am being forced out. I would like to know rights and whether there is anything I can do because I am feeling depressed and worry that I may end up getting signed off work sick if I do not leave of my own accord. Many Thanks for your time
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-38oz078r- :

Hi Ben, just over 3 years

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

JACUSTOMER-38oz078r- :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX forward to hearing from you

Ben Jones :


Thank you for your patience. If an employer has decided that a restructure to its business is needed, they can commence a potential redundancy procedure and deal with these staff that are potentially at risk. This would involve advising them of the proposed restructure and the risk of redundancies, then enter into a consultation period with them to discuss the proposed changes and the options available to them. The consultation does not have to start immediately so it I possible that you are advised you are being placed at risk then left to continue doing your job until your employer starts to consult with you, which may eventually end up in redundancies. Going through a redundancy process can be stressful for everyone involved but the employer would not have necessarily been guilty of anything just because they have made a decision to restructure and have advised their employees they are at risk of potential redundancies.


 


When you were later offered voluntary redundancy, even if you had formally accepted it and it was confirmed by the employer, there is still an ongoing duty on them to try and minimise the risk of redundancies and to seek suitable alternative employment to avoid the need for redundancies. Technically, it means that they could grant you VR and then at any point before the end of your employment, seek to withdraw that because there is no longer need to make you redundant or because they have found a suitable alternative job for you to do. Again, it is understandable that this may be stressful and unsettling but it is lawful.


 


There are still circumstances when you could try and force the redundancy through and still be entitled to a redundancy payment, for example if you have relied on the notice of redundancy to find a new job and have secured that, which makes the subsequent withdrawal of redundancy by the employer unreasonable. If that is the case you could give the employer counter-notice and ask to leave before the end of your redundancy notice, retaining your entitlement to redundancy pay. However, if it is just because you found the redundancy process stressful and did not like being given VR which was then withdrawn, that is unlikely to be sufficient to just aloe you to leave and keep your redundancy. You may of course leave anyway but you would then just be resigning and not being made redundant and will not receive any redundancy pay.

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