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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50181
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can an Employer make you redundant because they change the

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Can an Employer make you redundant because they change the scope of your job?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: The company are restructuring again, we only went through this last year, only my job wasn't affected then. This time round, they have taken my team, so virtually wiped out the training dept. and if I don't accept the new position (training, of which I'm not qualified for, the responsibility of 250 operators, who I have no control over and have no one to deliver training) I will be made redundant. The new Operations Director (also not qualified, has no pharma experience) stated that no one would be put in a position that they are not comfortable with or lose their job. I now find myself in both situations. The management are making crazy decisions and not only do I fear for my job but the future of the company. I have worked there for 20 years.
Customer: Are you still there?
Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. Redundancy is used to describe a situation in which an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees, either within the business as a whole, or within a particular site or job role. There are various reasons as to why redundancies may be required, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisations, relocation, etc. The reason for the proposed redundancies will rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that the actual reason conformed to the statutory definition of a redundancy.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 defines a redundancy situation as falling within one of the following circumstances:

  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. Diminished requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind.

Whilst the first two reasons are self-explanatory, it is the third reason that will be used most commonly and also the one that brings the most challenges.

Examples of when there is a diminishing responsibility to do work of a particular kind are:

  • There is the same amount of a particular kind of work but fewer employees are needed to do it. This would generally be seen as the "classic" situation in which the employer decides to make better use of its resources. This will also include consolidating some of its jobs (e.g. spreading out the work that is affected amongst existing employees). This is where many employees get confused as they believe a job has to disappear for them to be made redundant, however that is certainly not the case.

  • 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.


If other suitable alternative employment positions exist then the employer has to offer these to those at risk of redundancy. If what is being offered is not suitable then the employee can reject this and opt for redundancy instead. However, there is unfortunately no guarantee that they can save their job - if a genuine redundancy exists then it could end in wither being made redundant or having to accept a suitable alternative job.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you