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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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If a Board Member speaks to me informally and advises that

Resolved Question:

If a Board Member speaks to me informally and advises that several members of the management team -including myself - will be losing their job what action should I take?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

20 years this July

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this afternoon. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
At this stage you only really have two options – wait for the proposed termination or resign. If the employer is planning on removing these jobs then the likelihood is that they will do so under a redundancy procedure. If that was to happen they would need to justify that there was a redundancy situation in the first place, follow a fair redundancy procedure, including consultation, and offer you any suitable alternative employment that may exist. If they fail on any of these grounds then the option of claiming unfair dismissal exists and in those circumstances it would be for the employer to justify that the dismissal was fair and failure to do so could result in you getting some compensation.
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.
If you were to resign and claim constructive dismissal then you would be using the employer’s apparent pre-determined result and the fact that they have disclosed this information before it was actually formally implemented. However, such claims are rather difficult to win and the onus to prove you have a valid claim is squarely on you. So that claim would me much riskier than if you were to wait for a dismissal and then consider the unfair dismissal route.
Also remember that at any point you have the option of raising a grievance to raise any issues as a formal complaint, which should be dealt with officially by the employer.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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