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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hi, I have been on maternity leave for nine months. I requested

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I have been on maternity leave for nine months. I requested reduced working hours on my return to work which was rejected at first.
After discussions it was agreed that I could reduce my hours from 40 to 30 working in a different position to that I worked in prior to the leave. I accepted this and started back on work on the 1st July. Last wee I was told I was going to be put at risk at the end of this month with a few of being made redundant by the end of the year. Come this point I would have worked for the company for three years. 2 years 9 months on full hours and the last few months on reduced hours as stated above. I am now being told that I will only receive my redundancy pay worked out on my last 12 weeks pay. Come the end of the year this will obviously be my reduced hours and not the 40 I was working up to this point.
Where do I stand with this and is this legal? Or should I be entitled to redundancy based of 2years 9months at my 40 hour per week rate followed by the last three months at the reduced rate?
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you approached the employer over this officially?

Yes, I have approached the HR person and she has stated I will only get componsated at my reduced rate of 30 hputs per week as they take the last 12 weeks worked. Having said this I only have an e-mail agreement with my new hours and no official signed updated contract.


Do you need anymore information?

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. When you are made redundant your redundancy entitlement will be calculated based on your current hours. Unfortunately any previous working arrangements will not be taken into consideration. For example, it is entirely possible for someone to have worked full hours for a number of years, then permanently reduced them to part time hours and then be made redundant – they will only receive redundancy pay based on their part time hours as these were the hours they did at the time of redundancy. You are after all being made redundant from your current position, not from any previous positions and as such only your current hours will be taken into account. Whilst the law does not allow for past hours to be considered in this calculation, the employer could still offer you their own enhanced redundancy payment which could reflect the old hours. This will basically be seen as an additional discretionary payment on top of your minimum legal entitlement in the circumstances. So in effect you have nothing to lose by approaching them and asking them to consider the past hours in their calculations. However, they could easily (and legally) refuse to do so and in that case you would still only be entitled to the minimum legal entitlement, which will only take into account the current hours you work.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you




So regardless of them knowing this would happen and offering me a job that was going to be terminated - still leaves me in the same situation? They did not follow the correct reduce hours application process - so would I have ground to take them to tribunal?

Ben Jones :

What is the correct procedure, is that an internal policy?

Ben Jones :

And can you show they knew the position would be terminated?


The reduced hours policy was not followed in terms of responding times / dates etc as per the .gov guidlines. Looking at these and the fact the process was not followed and i still to this day have not had official confiramtion with regards ***** ***** outcome surely shows the in-correct process was followed. With regards ***** ***** the role was going - they placed me in the role and then announced a week later I would be put at risk and then made redudant. With the plans they have in place in terms of moving the departments to another office in Ireland - there is no way they would not have known the role would be terminated.

Ben Jones :

In terms of the process, this only applies of a decision to grant you flexible working hours was refused. In that case the decision can be appealed first before a formal grievance is raised. If that does not help, a claim can be made to an employment tribunal. The available grounds to challenge their decision are:

  • The employer failed to hold a meeting, notify their decision or offer a right of appeal

  • The reason for refusal was not for one of the allowed reasons

  • The rejection was based on incorrect facts

The claim should be presented to the tribunal within 3 months of either the procedural breach or of the date on which the employee is notified of the appeal decision.

As to placing you in a redundant position, if they knew that when they offered it to you then that is unfair and it should have been made clear to you at the outset. That can be pursued as an unfair dismissal claim once the dismissal has been confirmed and your employment has been terminated.


Ok thank you. So I suppose the best I can hope for is to have them send some form of email to confirm they new the redudcacies were comming. I could then use this for an unfair dismissal case if they dont offer me a suitable alternative role.

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