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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47881
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a Head of Finance firm The FD is going to retire

Resolved Question:

I am a Head of Finance for a firm
The FD is going to retire and my position is going to be made redundant however a new position of Financial controller has been created whose job description is practically the same as the HOF position and the job specification that was different was never formally given to me by the FD over the course of 5 years
My question is can they do this and can they offer a lower salary for the FC role even though I am doing the same job for the same job description
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. Have you been given the opportunity to apply for this role?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I have

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
So as I understand it you have been doing a job for the last 5 years and were never issued with an updated job desorption but this job is being re-created under different title and with less pay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The updated job description included 3 items that the FD did and he was going to pass them over to the HOF but the FD kept them . The HOF continued to do what was left . Now the FC job description is the HOF job description less the 3 items

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.
The fact you were never issued with an updated job description does not mean you will not have right as if your employer had issued you with updated terms. You have worked in it long enough to be able to claim permanent rights over it through custom and practice. So if the new job that is being created is more or less identical then there is an argument that the original position was not redundant and there is not a reduced requirement for employees to do it because they still only need one person to do it.
Yu can raise these points in the consultation meeting and also in an appeal if the redundancy is confirmed. After that the only way to challenge this would be through making a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.
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.

For Ben

So given that the job description is virtually identical, the pay should have been the same - is that correct ?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
No it is not that the pay should have been the same but there is a weak argument that the job was redundant in the first place so this looks like a sham redundancy situation
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben

So I certainly would not want to sign a contract with less pay but doing the same job as before - what could happen then ?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
You cannot be forced to sign the contract but it means you could be made redundant. You cannot prevent the employer proceeding with the redundancy but then it becomes a potential car of unfair dismissal which you can pursue in the employment tribunal
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