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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50192
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work university as a senior lecturer and a course leader.

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I work for a university as a senior lecturer and a course leader. They have created some new course similar to the current education offer. They have just advertised, internally, for expressions of interest for the course leader roles for these new courses. The old courses will be taught out and then close. There are several of us who are currently course leaders and we feel that they are advertising our jobs without due process. There has been no consultation period. Surely this is against employment law. I feel as though I am being pushed to go for one of the roles to keep my senior lecturer grade or fear redundancy. The suite of new courses also includes an acting degree. But the course leader role for this course has been given to someone else without any expressions of interest, without due process. And therefore this course does not appear on the email about the course leader roles for the other courses. Any help would be appreciated. Can i sue?
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 there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
7 years
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also I am going to have to run and teach in 5 minutes but can answer other points later on. Apologies. Just wanted to strike whilst the iron is hot.
Thank you. It appears that this is a potential redundancy situation because the employer is closing down certain jobs which means that those people employed in them could have their jobs placed at risk. In these circumstances the employer has a duty to conduct a fair redundancy procedure. What steps they have to take will depend on how many redundancies are proposed. If there are less than 20 proposed redundancies then there is no need to conduct any collective consultation with the affected employees and only individual consultations would be required. In either case, these are not required before the decision on why redundancies are necessary or what changes to make. The employer could decide to remove certain positions and create new roles, then start consulting with the employees over their plans. With regard to the newly created positions, if there is a redundancy situation, an employer has a duty to offer those employees at risk any suitable alternative employment (“SAE”) that may exist at the time. The objective is to keep the employee in a job rather than make them redundant. Therefore, if an employee accepts an offer of SAE, their employment will continue in the new position and they would lose their entitlement to a redundancy payment. If the offer is considered unsuitable and the employee refuses it, they will be made redundant and still receive redundancy pay. However, if the offer was suitable and the employee unreasonably refuses it, they would effectively be resigning and will lose their entitlement to redundancy pay. So the main issue is what makes an offer suitable and when can an employee reasonably refuse it. The most common factors that would make an offer unsuitable are:· Job content/status – drop in status, substantial changes in duties, etc.· Pay and other benefits – significant drop in earnings/benefits (e.g. basic pay, bonuses, overtime, sick pay, holidays)· Working hours – change in shift pattern, removal of overtime, extension/reduction of working hours· Change of workplace – new location making it unreasonable to travel to the new place of work· Job prospects – going from permanent to temporary work, becoming self-employed or being employed on a fixed-term contract. Where an offer of alternative employment has been made and its terms and conditions are different to the employee's current terms, they have the right to a 4-week trial period. If during the trial period they decide that the job is not suitable they should tell their employer straight away. This will not affect their employment rights, including the right to receive statutory redundancy pay. So it is important to consider whether any offer that has been made is suitable or if there are reasonable grounds to treat it as unsuitable and safely reject it, opting for redundancy instead. You should still be offered any suitable alternative positions that may exist and whilst you could apply for them it does not mean that you will be successful, even if considered the most suitable. Still, you should at least be allowed to try. So if the above steps have not been followed and you end up being made redundant as a result, you could consider a claim for unfair dismissal. Similarly, if your job is removed but no redundancy is offered and you believe what you have ended up doing is unsuitable, you could resign and claim constructive dismissal. However, you cannot sue for anything else and if you wanted to make a claim it could only happen if your employment had ended in one of the two ways mentioned above. 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
\i have been led to believe that there are unlikely to be redundancies in relation to anyone who does not get one of the course leader positions. My main thought is are they allowed to advertise these jobs when we are currently course leader for very similar courses; in my case even the name of the course is remaining the same.
they can do - you are not guaranteed a position on the new structure, even if the job is more or less the same. It will raise potential questions as to whether there was a need to change them in the first place and remove you but if they have done that they could advertise all new positions to anyone, include you in the selection process and still decide not to place you in one of them. After that we get to the same position really - will you be dismissed or be forced to resign? Only then can you consider any legal action against them. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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