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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49862
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have just been told that we are under consultation and we

Customer Question

We have just been told that we are under consultation and we have a group meeting tomorrow. They are saying that as the workload is down in the East Midlands in particular our office they are looking at moving all the client caseloads to another office 8 miles away and we may be made redundant.
It is the same work and the same job title, should they not select staff from both offices from a pre determined checklist, the other office have been told they are safe and yet two of them are on performance management for not meeting targets?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is your specific question about this?
JACUSTOMER-q5816jc3- :

Is it legal to do this, should they not pool the staff from both offices and select who would stay as the job role remains it is only moving to another office. Also two of at the office are the top performers

Ben Jones :

Good morning, when it comes to redundancies, an employer must consider what the appropriate pool of employees for redundancy selection should be, otherwise the dismissal is likely to be unfair.

However, there are no fixed rules about how the pool should be selected. Factors that are likely to be relevant to identifying a pool are likely to include:

  • What type of work is ceasing or reducing.
  • The extent to which employees are doing similar work (possibly even those at other locations).
  • Whether the selection pool was agreed with the union or employee representatives.

If an employer carries out similar work at more than one site, it may be unfair for an employer to only include employees at one site within the pool, even if that site is closing completely. For example in the case of Highland Fish Farmers v Thorburn the employer needed to make 8 redundancies out of a workforce of 50 spread over a number of sites. It decided to close one site altogether and dismissed another five others from other sites. Two of the employees from the site that closed argued that another site, 40 minutes away, should have been considered together with their site and employees from both sites placed at risk of redundancy.

The tribunal decided that the employer had acted unfairly in treating that site in isolation and commented that any reasonable employer faced with two sites in geographical proximity and providing mutual support would not have focused on one single site as the pool for selection.

However, each case will be very fact specific so there is no guarantee the above will also apply to your case but it can serve as a good argument if you challenge the employer's decision. In the end only a tribunal can decide if what they did here was fair and reasonable.

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much