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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44919
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work on an oil rig, and had an accident on the 8th august

Customer Question

I work on an oil rig, and had an accident on the 8th august 2015 which resulted in breaking bones in my back and damaging discs, in turn led to 2 major operations, I have been on the sick since & today I received a letter by email stating I was made redundant today. even though my position on the rig is still there & someone else has been filling in while ive been on the sick
the company are making everyone redundant at some stage but not for at least 2/3 month.
my questions are
1, can I be made redundant while on the sick
2, how can I be made redundant when my job is still there & if I was fit enough I could return to work.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
when I had the accident it wasn't exactly any ones fault, I did everything correctly, correct manual handling teqniques etc, I just picked up a bit of pipe & then the pain was very bad, a medic was called & I was taken to the sick bay, next morning I was put on a helicopter & sent to the hospital where MRI scans were done which showed the damage.Before I was flown off the person in charge of the shift was to do an accident investigation & fill in the correct paperwork but it was never actually done, this person has since left the company
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Have you asked your employer about the reason you were made redundant?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
as I said they a making everyone on he rig redundant at a later stage
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
ok thankyou . more info for you.............can I actually claim for the accident?work on an oil rig, had an accident on the august 2015 resulted in breaking bones in my back and damage discs, led to 2 major ops, been on the sick since, when I had the accident wasn't exactly anyone fault, did everything correct, manual handling teqniques. just picked up a bit of pipe & then the pain was bad, medic called I was taken to sick bay, next morning put on a helicopter & sent to the hospital where MRI scans done, they found damage to the discs in my back, after a few weeks I tried to go back to work but only lasted 3 days before I couldn't continue & was flown off the rig again, visited my surgeon to discuss what would be done but while in this discussion it came to light on my MRI that I had broken bones in my lower back also which would require a major operation. Before I was flown off the person in charge of shift was to do accident investigation & fill in correct paperwork, it was never done, person has since left the company. was no report filled in on the 2nd time I was flown off either, should of been done
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Please can you confirm whether you are searching for UK based law?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I am
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

OK great. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hi just need some more details please - how long have you worked there for and are you an employee or self employed?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
4yr and employee
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Thank you. It is certainly possible to make someone redundant whilst they are off sick but for this to happen there must be a genuine redundancy situation in the first place.

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.

As to claiming for the accident you are only able to do so if you can show that someone has been negligent in the process. For example, the employer did not follow required health and safety procedures or they had done something which is clearly negligent and below the standard expected of them in the circumstances. For this I recommend you see a personal injury lawyer – many can offer you an initial free consultation to see if you have a good case.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can take o challenge the redundancy if you believe it was unfair, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
If I'm made redundant then obviously my position was made redundant...are the company allowed to employ someone in the position if they have made me redundant? The company have employed an agency worker to do my roleI have been off sick due to accident at work and human resources emailed me this....An agency hand did fulfil your role after the 20th July until the end of the trip (22nd July), which is legally permissible since your current medical note states you are not fit to return to work prior to the 1st August. It was for this reason that your notice period was not extended and I can confirm that you have been paid in full for your contractual notice period as is required.......Surely if my role is redundant then nobody can do it?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

That is unfortunately not correct. Please refer back to point 3 on my main response which states that redundancy can occur if there's a reduced requirement for employees to do a specific job. The key is the word 'employees'. So the employer may need fewer employees to do the work but could instead take on contractors or agency workers, I.e. Non-employees. It is possible in redundancy for employees to be replaced with workers who are not employees. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
if im made redundant doesn't my position become redundant? how can someone else do my job?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

This is the common misinterpretation that people have about redundancy - being made redundant does not mean that your role no longer exists and that no one can do it. Please refer back to the legal definition of redundancy:

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). So it could be that the same amount of work remains but fewer employees are needed to do it. As mentioned, it is important to remember that redundancy only affects employees so an employer could decide to make an employee redundant, for example for cost reasons, and then replace them with a contractor or an agency worker - the job will continue to exist but because the definition of redundancy has been satisfied (i.e. a reduced requirement for employees to do the job), that can be a valid redundancy.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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