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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Our employer is making redundancies. They said that they would

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Our employer is making redundancies. They said that they would inform us of the new structure for the charity by Friday 4th September 2015. An e-mail was sent out to each member of staff on that date but after the office had closed for the weekend. The office is open from 08:30 until 16:30, I received my e-mail at 16:55 when I had left for the evening, others received theirs later. Staff did not actually see the e-mail until Monday 7 September when the HR manager was on leave for 2 weeks.
Since then the employer, on Thursday 10 September, requested that staff who would be interested in one of the 'new' roles register their interest by Tuesday 15 September and interviews will be on Thursday 17 September. Although it is unlikely that staff who are away during this period would apply for the roles they are not getting the opportunity as they are on leave.
Staff have been told that if funding does come in by the end of the year that some staff facing redundancy could be retained.
I have also been told that I am not permitted to apply for any roles as I have not been with the charity for 2 years and am on contract. Other contractors have been retained and despite their roles been changed they have been 'slotted' into the new roles.
What we would like to know is:
1. Is it correct that redundancy/restructuring information that was promised on 4 September can be sent out on that date even though the office had officially closed.
2. Can people be expected to express intentions to apply for a role and be interviewed within a week and what about missing employees.
3. What happens to the roles of those made redundant, can they be take on by other members of staff. I have been told my job, admittedly a contract will be split between 2 remaining members of staff.
4. Can a role be removed from the structure and divided into other roles?
5. How much does a role have to change before it is classed as a new role?
6. If a role is downgraded and the pay scale if less does it mean that the person in the role will have to take a pay cut.
7. A member of staff in a management role is on maternity leave, there is a new managers job and she has been slotted in, should other members of staff be allowed to apply. I understand that if on maternity leave a person cannot be made redundant but should be offered any job available, not to the detriment of other, is this correct/
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.
To answer your specific queries:
1. Is it correct that redundancy/restructuring information that was promised on 4 September can be sent out on that date even though the office had officially closed.
Yes it certainly can happen. The fact that the employer promised to send out certain information does not mean that by law they are specifically required to have it out by a specific time and before the office closes. When they said that this would be out by 4 Sept that would be a projected date – there is no legal requirement for them to send it out by that date if it is not ready and it would not affect the redundancy process in any way as long as it was still sent out to the affected employees.
2. Can people be expected to express intentions to apply for a role and be interviewed within a week and what about missing employees.
Yes that can happen – there is nothing in law which states there must be a minimum period between expressing an intention and being interviewed for the role. If anyone is missing they should still be contacted and advised of the available opportunities so that they are treated equally but if they are on holiday or other leave at the time then any interview should be scheduled for a time when they are back.
3. What happens to the roles of those made redundant, can they be take on by other members of staff. I have been told my job, admittedly a contract will be split between 2 remaining members of staff.
That is possible – a job does not have to disappear for it to be made redundant. For example a redundancy can be a situation when 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).
4. Can a role be removed from the structure and divided into other roles?
Yes, see above
5. How much does a role have to change before it is classed as a new role?
This is a factual issue – As each role would be unique there is no formal way of deciding that. Essentially it is for a tribunal to decide whether there is a sufficient difference to justify it, however there is no mathematical formula one can use.
6. If a role is downgraded and the pay scale if less does it mean that the person in the role will have to take a pay cut.
They would be offered that role as ‘suitable alternative employment’. However, if they believe that it is not suitable, for example because the pay is reduced, then they do not have to take it and can reject it, opting for redundancy instead.
7. A member of staff in a management role is on maternity leave, there is a new managers job and she has been slotted in, should other members of staff be allowed to apply. I understand that if on maternity leave a person cannot be made redundant but should be offered any job available, not to the detriment of other, is this correct/
It is not correct that someone on maternity leave cannot be made redundant – that is still possible. However, if someone is on ML then they have automatic preference over other employees when suitable alternative employment is being offered. So the employer has to offer such options to the person on ML first and only if she refuses it or does not fin t suitable would it be offered to others.
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
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