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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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A number of people in my company, my whole team included,

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A number of people in my company, my whole team included, were told 2 weeks ago that our roles are being relocated from Darlington to Reading. I was off the day that the announcement was made, in front of approx. 200 other Head Office staff. I have had a 90 second conversation so far that has told me nothing about what is going to happen and when. I have been advised by people in my team that we'll be entering into a consultation period at some point but we still don't know when this is going to happen. My colleagues on the day of the announcement asked about working 3 days in Reading and 2 days from Head Office but were instantly told that this was not an option, that it was non-negotiable. One member of our team who already works remotely from London was told on a conference call in front of the rest of the team that he could no longer work remotely and would also have to relocate to Reading. Is this legal? I know companies can get away with a lot when it comes to this sort of thing, but this just feels very wrong.
Thank you in advance for any light you can shed on this.
Kind regards
Lindsey Briggs

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

What are your apecific concerns about this situation, what exactly do you think is not legal?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Just the way they've dealt with it since the announcement. From what I understand we are meant to go into a consultation period as soon as it was announced who wold be affected by it and they are meant to take us into 1 to 1 consultations to discuss options, but we have had none of this, we've had no communication at all in the past 2 weeks.

Thank you. How many people will potentially be made redundant? Or shall I say how many people will the employer be seeking to make redundant?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
36 specific roles have been identified so far, but they advise the new office will have approx. 60-70 people, though they haven't communicated whether they will be recruited directly or whether it's more roles from here that will relocate.

And do you know when the first redundancies are due to take place?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We haven't had any formal confirmation, but the date mentioned in the announcement was the end of September.

OK, thanks. The requirement to consult in redundancy situations depends on how many employees will eventually be made redundant. If the employer proposes to make between 20 and 99 employees redundant there is a requirement to initiate a minimum of a 30 day consultation period before the date of initial dismissal. So it is not a requirement to consult immediately after being told of the plans for redundancy - the consultation must be at least 30 days but that is counted backward from the date of the initial dismissal. So if they propose to do this in September then collective consultation must start at the latest sometime in August. Therefore, the employer is not too late to do so just yet.

During the collective consultations they should also conduct individual consultations but there is no time limit specified for these and they should basically take place leading up to the redundancy at some point.

So there is still time for the employer to consult with the affected employees and consider options, such as alternative employment.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks or clarifying Ben, I appreciate your help.

You are most welcome