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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49850
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A new factory manager joined the company I work days

Customer Question

A new factory manager joined the company I work for 100 days ago and is trying to manage me out of the company. on Wednesday of this week he took a fairly large part of my job away from me. He said when he looked at my job spec he thought I only had about 2 hours work a day ( total rubbish ) but now I am short of work and he just keeps having a weekly meeting with me and the HR lady and regularly tells me he doesn't know where to place me . I have been Coffee stock controller for 16 years. We know he needs to cut costs and I am afraid I might be one of them. I am not sure how to deal with the situation. He is planning to spend time with me on Friday to see what I do ! I am sure he is going to get rid of me, I am having sleepless nights and crying on and off through the day.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Who is doing the jobs he took away?

JACUSTOMER-fdo9ugew- :

I have passed the work over to one of the shift managers - who seems to not be doing it. It was the purchasing of PPE and janitorial supplies . keeping every thing topped up and tidy, I gave him hand written orders to put on SAP and as far as I know this has not happened.

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. If an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and this would depend on which of the above reasons they used to dismiss. So an employer cannot just select you and dismiss you without showing there as a fair reason for doing so and following a fair procedure.

If anything, the employer is likely to use redundancy in these circumstances. 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. 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.

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

JACUSTOMER-fdo9ugew- :

For Ben Jones. this week for the first time a co-worker has started giving instruction to my 2nd warehouse without going through me. I have had a third meeting this afternoon and the factory manager is still telling me he doesn't know where I will fit in ( to his new structure ). I have another meeting next Friday at Midday the last working day of the month 2 hours before the monthly site meeting when all departures are announced. It feels like my life has just fallen in on my head.

Ben Jones :

they cannot just get rid of you like this, if they are looking at redundancy then a fair procedure must be followed as described above so you can't just lose your job straight away

JACUSTOMER-fdo9ugew- :

for Ben Jones

JACUSTOMER-fdo9ugew- :

For Ben Jones The FM just keeps saying that with the new structure, most of my work will be reallocated and I will have at most 2 hrs work a day

Ben Jones :

I understand that and this could lad to redundancy as mentioned - if the employer is restructuring the business then it can mean that certain jobs are removed or streamlined. The issue is that if this results in a redundancy situation you must be selected fairly (e.g. if there is more than one person doing the same job as you then there must be some objective way of selecting who is made redundant), but if you are the only one doing that job then it is possible for the employer to 'dismantle' it and make you redundant. They would then have to try and find you suitable alternative employment or if no such exists - they can proceed with the redundancy

Ben Jones :

Does this clarify things for you a bit more?

JACUSTOMER-fdo9ugew- :

for Ben Jones Yes thank you

Ben Jones :

you are welcome all the best

JACUSTOMER-fdo9ugew- :

for Ben Jones the system will not allow me to rate the answer it is telling me that you are not finished answering ? I will check again tomorrow - you have helped and I would like to be able to give a positive rating

Ben Jones :

Sorry there are sometimes delays in enabling the option, it should be ok as I have checked that it is enabled, thanks for keeping on trying