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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48210
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A Storeperson working at one of our branch locations refuses

Resolved Question:

A Storeperson working at one of our branch locations refuses to undertake any additional tasks to his role. Obviously as times change so do the needs and requirements of the business. Over time the role of Storeperson has become known as a Warehouse Operative with some additional duties such forklift truck training (in order to aid unloading and loading orders) and also delivering goods to customers in case such as holiday/absences. We have ask the individual if he would take up the forklift truck training and on several occasion he has point blank refused which means the Operations Supervisor has to come out every time this function is required and it is becoming a strain on the Ops Supervisor as he is constantly being taken away from his duties to load and unload order throughout the day. The Storeperson doesn't hold a current driving license and is not able to step in at short notice if the Envoy is off sick (the branch only has one Envoy). It is a small branch but this resistance to change is becoming a strain and a frustration to the team. The individuals is 63 yrs of age and will be 64 in Sept of this year can you suggest a way to go with this as I am currently swaying towards making the Storeperson role redundant and introducing a warehouse operative role which I will obviously give the current individual the opportunity to take up the role but he won't obvouisly be able to drive. Is there anything wrong with this approach. The individual concerned has been with the company for 15 Yrs.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello are there any other roles this person could do instead?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

currently not, as the branch is very understaffed

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. 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.
Thanks for your patience. Your proposed approach is exactly what I would have suggested you do in the circumstances. You can’t force the person to do these additional tasks and whilst you can introduce changes to his contract to try and include these but he could still refuse to do them in which case you have to involve yourself in disciplinary proceedings for insubordination, which can get messy and sour the relationship between you. So the best approach would be the redundancy route where you state that the current job is no longer required and create a new job with the required duties and responsibilities, allowing the person to apply for it. The only issue with this approach is your financial liability because if he does not take up the new job and reasonably refuses it then he would be due redundancy and with 15 years’ service that won’t be too cheap. But at least you know it would be the least risky approach.This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the procedure expected of you to ensure a redundancy is fair, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. To ensure that a redundancy is considered fair you must identify that there is a genuine redundancy situation to start with and then follow a fair procedure. Redundancy occurs in the following circumstances: 1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind You will be relying on the last one of these. Then you must follow a fair procedure, which would involve advising the employee their position is at risk of redundancy, consulting with them, offering them suitable alternative employment and if that is not available – proceed with redundancy.