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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48176
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My partner has been told she will not be part of a re-structure

Resolved Question:

My partner has been told she will not be part of a re-structure although her duties managing a small department (that she set up) of 3 team members will be passed to someone else. The re-structure proposal is not yet official but she has been verbally told it is going to happen and that she must provide training to the incoming manager. Can she refuse to do this? Note: she has 20+ yrs service and been told she will be able to apply for roles elsewhere in the company during her 3 month notice period but was not given the opportunity to apply for her 'own' position.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is she being made redundant?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, she will be made redundant if she does not accept an alternative available position within the re-structure.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Is her position actually remaining or all her duties being redistributed to others?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Her duties are being assigned to another person who will have a different job title

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
The term 'redundancy' is used to describe a situation in which an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees. There are various reasons as to why redundancies may be required, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisation, workplace relocation, etc. The reason for the proposed redundancies will rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that the actual reason satisfied the statutory definition of a redundancy, which can be found in The Employment Rights Act 1996:
1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed
2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites
3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind (this is where many employees get confused as they believe a job has to actually disappear for them to be made redundant).
The third reason above creates the most challenges. Examples of when there is a reduced requirement to do work of a particular kind are:
• The same amount of work remains but fewer employees are needed to do it. This includes consolidating some of its jobs (e.g. spreading out certain jobs amongst existing employees).
• There is less work of a particular kind and fewer employees are needed to do it (both the work and the headcount shrink)
• There is less work of a particular kind, but the same number of employees are required overall.
So as long as the employer can show that their situation fell within one of the accepted reasons for declaring a redundancy, the test will be satisfied and the focus then shifts on the remainder of the redundancy procedure. This would include what consultation took place, whether any suitable alternative employment was offered to those at risk and the general fairness of the redundancy procedure applied by the employer.
She could argue that she should have been offered the opportunity to apply for the post that is being created where her duties are being shifted to, at least be placed head to head with that other employee.
However, if her arguments are unsuccessful and she is made redundant, then the only way to challenge this is to make a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.
Finally, it would be consider a reasonable instruction to provide training and support during notice period for a replacement so it is best if she does not refuse to do that.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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