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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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The company I worked years has suddenly decided

Resolved Question:

Hi,
the company I worked for 10 years has suddenly decided that my position is at risk of redundancy as they want to change the structure of the team. What they want to do is just change one position within the team (which is mine) and to replace it with an more senior role responding directly to the head of the department instead of the head of the business unit (as I currently do). I received the job description of this new role and I feel it's just a continuation of what I already cover during my daily duties therefore it could have suited my career progress.
They have not published the job internally or externally as they state it's only a proposal and they have told that I could apply for this role if I wanted or look for other vacancies within the company.
Of course I feel wounded and I feel the trust between us is broken as they have decided to "show me the door" before even telling me about the job "opportunity".
Question for you is: do you seen any unfair behavior from their side?
Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Will you be happy to work in the new position if this proposal goes ahead?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben,

no because of the move they made (put me at risk of redundancy).

I feel there was not much transparency on what has happened and I won't feel comfortable working with them anymore.

Look forward hearing from you and if you have more questions please let me know.

Thanks

Michele

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello Michele
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 that they have placed you at risk of redundancy would not in itself be unfair. There is no guarantee this will reach the redundancy stage and there is no obligation on them to have told you about the new job before placing you at risk of redundancy. In fact the formal steps are to place you at risk, then consult with you and find any alternatives to discus other options so they have not really done this the wrong way or acted illegally. It would be too early to take any action anyway so it is best to go through the redundancy procedure and see where the employer takes this. Also remember that if a suitable alternative position has been offered but you unreasonably reject it then you would not be entitled to any redundancy pay.
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
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Something I didn't specify before is that there are other three persons (sitting in another team) which they cover very similar roles of what I do in my current position.

Infact they have already opened another position to cover all the operational duties I currently do and told me there might be another role (more senior) to cover all the strategic duties saying that it will require a more senior person.

This should fall into this example you made in your response: "• 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). " My question will be: why was I the only person put on risk of redundancy then?

Also you stated "It would be too early to take any action...and see where the employer takes this" I'm pretty sure the employer will offer me a redundancy option (as they have already mentioned a redundancy package). What will it change once I obtain a redundancy?

Thanks

Michele

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello Michele, When a redundancy situation arises, there is a legal obligation on an employer to ensure that it applies a fair method of selection when deciding on who is to be made redundant. The general requirement is that a fair and objective method should be applied. The first step is identifying the pool of employees from which the selection will be made. Often that could be a particular job, a department, even a whole office. The employer only has to show that its choice of pool was within the range of reasonable responses. This could often be linked to the needs of the business, for example a need to reduce a particular expense linked to a team, outsourcing certain work, etc. The general rules state that when deciding on the choice of pool, the employer should start by considering two questions, which will help them identify which employees should be included:· Which particular kind of work is disappearing?· Which employees perform the particular kind of work which is disappearing? Once the pool has been established the employer has to decide how to select those employees which are to be made redundant. There are various ways of doing this and the more commonly used methods are:· Scoring matrix based on various criteria (e.g. disciplinary record, attendance record, length of service, performance, etc.)· Asking employees to re-apply for their jobs, or for any newly created jobs, with the unsuccessful ones being made redundant Whichever method is going to be used, the employer must apply it fairly and objectively. Unfair selection for redundancy could make the whole dismissal unfair so if there are concerns over the employer's methods of selection, this can be raised in the consultation meetings, in the redundancy meeting or as part of an appeal. Following redundancy the option to challenge this in the employment tribunal also exists. So that is why I mentioned it may be too early to take formal action as it is the consultation first, then the appeal and finally the tribunal option. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks.

If I rate your answer now, will I be able to ask another question related to this matter in the next few weeks?

Thanks

Michele

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi yes you can but it would be posted as a new question, although you can always mark it for my attention as I would be familiar with your situation.
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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