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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45343
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have worked employer years as a college

Customer Question

I have worked for my employer for sixteen years as a college lecturer. I was put at risk when my department was restructured and 11 jobs reduced to 3 which were to be ring fenced for existing staff. I applied and was interviewed for one of the three jobs. I was unsuccessful. One of the successful applicants resigned immediately and within 3 months the job was re advertised externally at the busiest time of year - June. We had elected to work our notice and throughout this month our attention was on supporting our students at the end of their qualifications, so that we failed to see the job ad.Those of us who had been unsuccessful were not informed of the post being re-advertised, the applicant in the first round of interviews with the next highest number of points (whoever that was) was not appointed and we were not invited to re-interview. The post was given to an internal candidate from another department, recently qualified and with no relevant teaching experience in this area. In the initial interviews the process had consisted of a 45 minute interview, when the job was re-advertised, the interview process consisted of an interview and micro teach which offered a more fair opportunity to demonstrate abilities. We heard informally that as we had been unsuccessful in the first interview we would not be considered. The college has a policy that allows second applications. This is the basis of our unfair dismissal claim. How strong is this case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What claim is being considered?
JACUSTOMER-zfv89qr6- : Unfair dismissal
Ben Jones :

Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier on. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue now. Can you please let me know when did the dismissal take place and also has a claim already been made?

Customer : My final date of employment was 15 August last year. We have an preliminary tribunal hearing tomorrow. I am representing myself. My colleague is making the same claim with a slight difference in that she was told by HR that she couldn't apply for the job as she was part time and the post would be full time, that subsequently turned out to be misguided information. She has additional claims which are not relevant to me. She has a solicitor but has not been able to pass any clear information to me.
Customer : We have gone through ACAS, and our ACAS Conciliator who has been less than communicative and got nowhere.
Ben Jones :

There is a reasonable case for unfair dismissal, obviously it is not possible to tell you the prospects of success as there are many factors to be considered and it would also depend on the employer’s defence but as far as the law is concerned when an employee is placed at risk of redundancy an employer has the duty to offer them suitable alternative employment in order to try and avoid having to make them redundant.

This duty is ongoing and extends until the employee is actually dismissed. Therefore, if an employee has been issued with notice of redundancy and they are serving their notice and still employed by the company, the duty to make an offer of alternative employment still exists until their employment is terminated. If certain opportunities for alternative employment appeared whilst you were still employed in the company and the employer failed to make you aware of these and offer you the chance to apply, you may indeed argue that they have failed in their duty. That can potentially make the dismissal unfair because the employer has not followed the requirement to offer you any suitable alternative employment. The fact that you were initially unsuccessful does not mean they cannot offer you the opportunity to apply for the same or similar vacancy if it comes up at some point before your employment terminates.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer : Thank you, ***** ***** And if I lose, might I have to pay the respondents costs?
Ben Jones :

generally you do not, a claimant is only at risk of paying the employer's costs if they had continued with the claim when it was clear that they had no reasonable prospects of success and this was clear in the proceedings (you should also be issued with a costs warning first)

Customer : Thank you very much.
Ben Jones :

you are welcome

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45343
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have just swapped personal statements, the respondents defence is:
Their Redundancy Policy does not require them to slot the next best applicant in when a successful candidate turns the job down.
They did not have to make me aware that they had re advertised the role when it became available again externally
They say I chose not to apply for it (I did not see it, I expected to be contacted with the other unsuccessful candidates to continue with the appointment of one of us or reapply amongst ourselves, as we had been told repeatedly through the redundancy process that the job was ring fenced for applicants from the team,)
They gave me adequate help to find another job.
(They did give me adequate help, but none had a comparable salary and were zero hours or flexible contracts or non lecturer contracts with no pension. The most suitable job I.e. The re advertised role, was not made known to me formally.)
They also say that in my interview I had less points than the applicant they finally appointed following re advertisement of the role. She had a different interview process of a micro teach and cross college networking interviews on relevant issues in addition to the formal interview. We had a performance based interview only (which was approved by the union). They say that with my point score I did not meet their requirements within an OFSTED graded outstanding college. (My most recent teaching observation was a grade 2/outstanding.)
Do you still think I have a reasonable case?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately your question has expired as you must post any follow up queries within 7 days of the date of the original question. If you need any further help on this subject please post it as a new question on our site - you may start it with 'for Ben Jones' so that I get it and deal with it as fast as I can. Many thanks

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