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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I was recently made redundant from my job as Sales Director

Resolved Question:

I was recently made redundant from my job as Sales Director for a construction company (new build houses), my last day was on Friday 7th February. One of the owners was supposed to be taking over my role. The company offered me an admin role at less than half my salary which I accepted whilst I looked for other employment. I am 62 years of age & have worked at the company for 8 years (only half a day sick in that time) The owners were at pains to tell me that I had been an exemplary employee but times were hard & I had to be let go. I offered to work 3 days instead of 5 pro rata until the new sites they were trying to acquire came on board but this fell on deaf ears. My new role commenced on the 10th February and it is business as usual, I am doing exactly the same job. Can they do this??
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What do you hope to achieve please?

Customer:

I want to know if I have a case against my employers

Ben Jones :

How long did you work there for?

Customer:

That's in my initial message, 8 years

Ben Jones :

Apologies, my error, I see it now. So you actually took the alternative role they offered you, yet are doing your old duties, is that right?

Customer:

Yes just the same as before

Ben Jones :

so you did not receive any redundancy, but your pay has been reduced as a result?

Customer:

I did receive redundancy pay but am only supposed to be doing an admin role now. I am doing the job I was made redundant from

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

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 and is most likely to be the reason they used in this case. 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.


 


If you doing your old job is just a temporary thing, for example whilst any reorganisation is complete, then it could still make the original dismissal fair. However, if it appears that this is not something that will change any time soon and that the reasons for your original redundancy no longer apply, you certainly have the right to ask for your old job back, or threaten to take the matter to an employment tribunal and claim for unfair dismissal.

Customer:

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I will see if anything changes, which I'm sure it won't, then a tribunal seems the best way.

Ben Jones :

yes, correct - if you have not yet appealed the redundancy you may do so, otherwise it is the tribunal after that as your only option

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