Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Hi there. Based on what you have described, what would be your ideal outcome so that I can advise you of your options? Thank you
Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I was urgently called up to deal with a tribunal case and could not get back on the site until now.
The main issue here is whether the employer will be able to justify this as a redundancy if challenged in tribunal. 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. I have seen numerous cases where a redundancy has been orchestrated but has been successfully defended as the employer has been able to convince a tribunal that there was a genuine redundancy. So my main concern is that if you were to reject the offer and make a claim against them, they could potentially defend it.
Still, you may wish to consider negotiating for higher than what is currently on offer by stating you will be seriously considering taking this further. Often an employer may be willing to improve their offer just so they do not have to deal with a potential claim, even if they may be able to defend it. Commercially it would make sense for them and as they are a business that would be a relevant factor they would have to take into account.
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