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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46207
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We are entering into a redundancy situation with one of our

Customer Question

We are entering into a redundancy situation with one of our branches. The branch is losing money due to a lack of new business coming into the branch we simply can't sustain the personnel cost knowing that there is no new business in the pipeline for the future months. We spoke to all of the branch personnel on the 10th June to paint the picture of the current branch performance and loses. This included a branch supervisor, 2 internals sales/admin staff and 1 warehouse person and 2 envoy drivers. Over the past few days we have looked at putting together however we have concluded that due to the downturn in business it would appear that there is not enough work for a full time storeperson and therefore believe we don't need to include anyone else in the redundancy process. We wish to gather everyone together again tomorrow to advise that it will be the warehouse area that will now be reviewed. Unfortunately the Warehouse person has been with the company for 15 years but is not able to drive. The business over time has taken on Envoys who are able to pick and pack there own deliveries each before heading off each day in the vans to deliver to our customers. I just want to make sure we are being as fair as we can in this process to the individual concerned.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are there any other jobs in the company available for this person?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately not no, well not at this point. Whether anything becomes available during the process it would certainly be offered to the individual.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The key is to ensure that there is a genuine redundancy and follow a fair redundancy procedure.
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.
You can consult this document on what a redundancy procedure would generally consist of:
http://www.mediafire.com/view/su5676zd4jmb59u/Redundancy_Toolkit.pdf
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46207
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben,

The only question really is 2 out of the 3 currently at risk hold a current driving licence and the remaining individual doesn't. As his role has diminished more than the 2 envoys and he is not able to carry out a dual role due to not being able to drive am I safe to say that at the next meeting (individual consultation) that I can inform this individual that he will potentially remain at risk due to his role and unfortunately not having the necessary licence to be able to carry out an envoys role. If he could drive then all 3 individuals would have been measured using a skills matrix but sadly this isn't the case.

I don't wish to single him out but in order to lose one from the headcount in the warehouse and knowing that his day to day duties have diminished considerably since the beginning of the year we can't afford to continue with this position.

Could this be seen as unfair ?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, initially the reason for placing him at risk would be because his particular job is disappearing, so the specific job he does is no longer necessary. Then you would look at offering him any suitable alternative employment. If there are jobs he could potentially do but which would require a driving licence then you could state that you are not offering him those because of that as it is a requirement of the position in question. If there are no other opportunities available then you could eventually consider dismissing on grounds of redundancy.

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