How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49801
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I work 25 hours part time as a Receptionist(with another

This answer was rated:

I work 25 hours part time as a Receptionist(with another younger girl) in a retail company head office. It will be 2 years 4th August. I'm 57 years old and a single parent. Last week I was advised that my position may be made redundant. I've been given a letter today saying that it is due to a restructuring. However, no one else seems to have been made redundant. My consulation is this coming Wednesday. They say they'd like me to give them information about my job so that they can determine whether their restructuring would be viable. This sounds odd to me. I believe this to have been decided because they don't want me to stay (I had an unjustified gross misconduct last September because I questioned my line managers decision of constantly using temps)and not a restructuring. I would like to know my rights. Do I have to give them information about my job which will ultimately help put a nail in my coffin? Or could I refuse to help them make their decision for restructuring? Also, if I can stick this out until the first week in August will they then have to pay me redundancy pay? Do I have any recourse?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long is your contractual notice period and are they allowed to pay you in lieu of notice? Also are you the only one doing your job or is the younger girl doing the same job as you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1 month notice and I'm not sure if they can pay in lieu of notice. I don't think so. I know most people have worked their notices. The younger girl is works along side me and does the same thing. She's a temp that's been there since February.

When you say she is a temp is she an agency worker and is she going to remain doing the job if you are to be made redundant?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she is an agency worker and I'm not sure what they are planning for her. Today they told her there will be a restructuring and things will change in the next 4-6 weeks. In my letter, they've said they would see if there is other suitable work which I think they have to do. I don't actually believe them on that front as I know there is only one position currently advertised and if they wanted me for that they would have asked if I was interested. Correct?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They're saying they want to do away with Reception which seems illogical seeing they're a company of 120+ and have a lot of deliveries, visitors, phone calls, post etc. Am I obliged to help them by telling them how Reception works? I would have thought they'd considered all this before telling me I may be made redundant.

The issue here is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim.

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period.

So if I was advising the employer and they wanted to dismiss you, I would make sure they issue you with notice of termination before 4 July to ensure the month’s notice ends your employment before you have the right to challenge the dismissal.

Even if you had the correct service, a redundancy is a situation where the employer requires a reduction in employees, so as an agency worker is not an employee they can remove the employee doing a job and replace them with a temp or a contractor – none of that would be illegal.

So to answer your questions, you do not have to give them information about your job, no one can force you to do this but they could just make a decision based on the details they already have. If you do manage to stick this out beyond 4 August then they will have to pay you redundancy pay but if they were properly advised or knew the law, they should be looking to terminate you before that date.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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 1 year ago.
I can't be sure this isn't an age or part time worker discrimination. How would I determine that?
If they issue notice after 4 July, how do I challenge it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, how is redundancy pay calculated?

Well you need some evidence to argue age or part time worker discrimination – anyone with these characteristics can raise these arguments but it does not mean they are the valid reasons for their decision. So some evidence where they may have implied they prefer younger workers or a full time employee for this.

Redundancy is calculated here:

Please leave your rating for the responses so far and I can continue assisting with how to challenge this if you get over the 2 year service hurdle.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, one last thing. If I take a few days off this week, forcing them to postpone this consultation. It would move the process closer to being in my favour for redundancy pay, would it not?

it is important to know if the contract allows for payment in lieu of notice so please check. Also please leave your rating as otherwise I cannot continue with more follow up explanations, thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It says, we may terminate your employment in accordance with your notice period and you are required to give us equivalent notice. We reserve the right to terminate your employment without notice(or payment in lieu of notice) in cases of gross midconduct or serious breach of contract. Also, we reserve the right to make reasonable changes to any of your terms and conditions of employment. We will give you at least 1 months notice of any changes, either by letter to you or company announcement. I don't see anything that actually says redundancy.

if you are please able to upload the contract that would be better

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good Morning, I've attached the contract. It doesn't seem to cover redundancy.
Would you please tell me two many consultation meetings are they required to have with me? and If I can postpone the first meeting until next week, does that help string out the time they give me my actual notice? Thank you.

Hello, please note that without a rating for the advice so far I will have to leave the question and won't be able to continue so please leave that and I can answer all your follow up questions thanks

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I thought I had rated you last night. My first consultation is tomorrow. Did the contract upload ok?

Thank you. There is no minimum number of consultation meetings an employer must hold and all that is required is that meaningful consultation is held, so it could be just one meeting. Also all of this is linked to the fairness of the dismissal procedure so if they dismiss you before the 2 years are up, it does not matter whether they followed a fair procedure or not, they could dismiss you even with no consultation meetings. So whilst you can get signed off, if they wanted to they could just skip the consultation, or hold it remotely, and still issue you with notice of redundancy before the deadline to take you over the 2 years. Looking at the contract they cannot pay you in lieu of notice so they must allow you to work your notice period therefore the key is whether you can delay them to issue the notice on or after 7 July, because that will take you to having 2 years’ service on dismissal.