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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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A family member has worked part time in a private hospital

Resolved Question:

A family member has worked part time in a private hospital as a secretary for over 20 years. Around three years ago because of restructuring in her department she was advised that she was needed to work around half of her contracted hours in the hospitals finance department.
She was recently advised that the hospital wished to make her redundant.
The hospital advised that while they no longer wished to employ her as a secretary, they would allow her to come back to the hospital and work for herself while billing the doctors directly.
Two questions come to mind:
1. Given that half of her role is now not as a secretary and that half of her job is not being made redundant, can the hospital actually make her redundant?
2. Is it 'legal' to make someone redundant while then offering them the option to return to do the same job only while not being paid by the institution in question?
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. Which half of her job is not being made redundant?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The finance part - although her contract sates that she is employed as a medical secretary, in reality half of her job is now working in finance and if she were to be made redundant, her finance position would need to be filled by someone else.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
So what is happening with the finance job - I presume that will continue? Also are they proposing that she works directly with the doctors as a secretary?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well, the position in finance would continue, but their view is that she is being made redundant and as she is 'contracted' as medical secretary she would also lose that work and the position would probably be advertised where she may have option to apply for it, however, they would almost certainly give it to someone else.
They are proposing that she offers the secretarial service on a private basis to be doctors, however the main reason that the position is being redundant is that the hospital is losing money my offering the secretarial service, so it's hardly an attractive proposition.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
The first thing to check is what job she is being specifically being made redundant from. If she is splitting her duties between two distinct jobs then it could be that she is employed under two separate contracts (with identical terms apart from the job description). Therefore, if she is being made redundant from one (e.g. the secretary) she should be allowed to remain working there in the other job.
If the secretary job is the one going then it is possible for the employer to state that there is an option for her to work as self employed and bill the doctors directly The definition of redundancy is that the employer requires fewer ‘employees’ doing a particular job so the job itself could remain in place but continue to be done by contractors or agency workers.
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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is only one contract in place and no mention is made in it of the finance duties.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
it does not matter what there is in writing - an implied contract could certainly be in place and replaced the one in writing - she has done these jobs for 3 years now, the likelihood ids that there are two implied contracts now - one for each job. What matters is the practice that has been consistently applied over time and that could create implied contracts which could operate in place of any existing written contract which would clearly no longer be applicable due to the changes
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