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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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My name is ***** ***** I work as an applications engineer

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My name is ***** ***** I work as an applications engineer for a oilfield service company in Aberdeen. The company has finacial problems at the moment and has announced that about 50 positions will be made redundant.
In my department I'm the only engineer and have a trainee who is helping me out.
The task to select people to be payed off was given to our productline manager, who is in good personal relationship with most ofour staff members including blood bonds. However I'm not one of them, as I was transfered to UK from abroad about a year ago.
How can I legally secure fair behaviour to myself in this situation.
Can I be paid off before my unexperient tranee, as this appears very unfair? I've heard that if the company canceles a position, they have no right to reopen it for another 3 years. Is that true? In this case my tranee would not be able to be promoted to an engineer position for another 3 years?
Thank you,
Farrukh Babazade
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked for with this company? What is your continuous length of service with them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello, Ben.I've been working for them in UK for a year. However I used to work for the same company in different countries for more than 3 years.I'm just afraid to be unfair treated in this situation, as the manager who will decide who is going to be paid off has longlasting personal relationships with almost everyone exept me. They all are from the same area, know each other families etc.However I can prove that my experience, knowledge and education are far better, than anyone in the office. I think their plan is to pay off me and promote my trainee to my position. However I can also prove that the trainee is not even closely ready to take over. I doubt that they can legaly do this, as they don't pay off people, but cuting their positions by explaining them redundant. If so then the trainee won't be able to be promoted for another 3 years, as far I can understand.It is also to mention that during this year of my working here, I've never got even a small remarks related to my working qualities etc.Thank you,Regards,Farrukh
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Hello Farrukh, first of all it is not true that if a company removes a position it cannot re-open it for 3 years. In fact they could re-open it within 3 months. That is because if you are dismissed and believe it was done unfairly, you only have 3 months to bring in a claim against the employer. Once the 3 months have passed you would be out of time to challenge the dismissal. So the employer could wait for 3 months then re-open the position or promote the trainee in it and as you would then be out of time to claim against them there would be nothing you can do to challenge it.
So it is possible for the employer to decide that your position is being made redundant and that they need to remove an engineer from your department for example. As far as the law is concerned, 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. So if the employer can show that they have no plans to promote the trainee but that they simply need to remove this position, challenging it would be rather difficult. As mentioned they could then just wait 3 months before promoting them in the post – it may appear unfair but it can be legally done.
So your best option is to try and negotiate some sort of reasonable pay-out, assuming the employer wants to remove you – it is not nice to stay in a job where you know you are not wanted. However, wait and see as to what happens because even though that is what you believe may be the case it is not necessarily going to happen so only time will tell.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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