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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49779
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We are a small community run Village Shop. To replace a paid

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We are a small community run Village Shop. To replace a paid Assistant who went on maternity leave on 1 November 2013 we took on 2 assistants (10 hours each) to replace the person on maternity leave. It was made clear in their contract letters that their jobs were to cover maternity leave. The person on maternity leave has now let us know that she will not be returning. Due to financial difficulties we need to reduce the number of paid hours as soon as possible. We would therefore, at the most, need to employ one assistant for 10 or less hours. Are we able to make one of the two redundant without making ourselves liable for a claim for compensation?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a preference over which one of these you would like to make redundant?


Yes. She is not so competent as the other one.

Ben Jones :

You should have no problem choosing either of these assistants and terminating their employment if you wanted to. Their rights in this situation would be rather limited due to the length of time they have worked with you for.


If someone has less than 2 years’ continuous service, they are not protected against unfair dismissal, which means they can be dismissed for more or less any reason as long as it is not linked to discrimination (reasons such as gender, age, race, religion, etc.). However, if this is simply an issue about competency, then you can select whoever you want and terminate their employment by simply giving them the contractual notice they are entitled to on termination. In the event of there being no notice period, it would be a week’s notice as they are entitled to by law. On top of that you would have to pay them for any accrued holidays that remain untaken by the time of their termination.

Ben Jones :

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

Customer: Thank you, ***** ***** the position for us.
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