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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50212
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My husband is being made redundant. Before his first consultation

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My husband is being made redundant. Before his first consultation his director announced it to my husband's team without his agreement. His team had got the news before my husband who manages them. His duties have distributed across the team. During his consultation yesterday he told thevHR the the whole process was a farse but he was laughed at and was told it was not iilegal to tell other members of the company. He feels degared and udermined. After 8 years of service he was offered a basic statutory package. They are getting rid of him under the veil of redundancy. Do you think we can rise grivance pointing at unfair dismissal?
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is the actual reason for redundancy that they are using?

Hello Ben,


The reason - restructuring of the department. He is the only one affected.

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied yesterday. It is not unlawful to announce potential redundancies to the wider workforce, even if those affected were not informed first – it may appear morally incorrect, which I agree with, but it is not unlawful.

As far as the fairness of the redundancy, 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, but it is also the one they are likely to use here. 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 and the focus then shifts on the remainder of the redundancy procedure. This would include what consultation took place, whether any suitable alternative employment was offered to those at risk and the general fairness of the redundancy procedure applied by the employer.

He is free to raise a grievance at any time, and can also appeal the redundancy once it has been confirmed. If the redundancy goes through he can also consider the unfair dismissal route but the success of that would depend on whether the employer can show that they meet any of the above-mentioned criteria.

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


Yes, thank you Ben.

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