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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 52107
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Ben, You have previously been helping me with a situation at

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Hi Ben,You have previously been helping me with a situation at work as detailed in my previous questions below. I now need your advice on whether the current situation is voluntary or compulsory redundancy or unfair dismissal?I have been notified by my employer that the company faces a reorganisation/redundancy situation due to lack of work.
There are two employees. A full time secretary and myself, a part time admin assistant both work 9.30am to 5.30pm. Our duties are very similar, the secretary has more typing being an experienced touch typist.To cut costs, my employer was looking to employ one full time admin resource, either a single full time person or a job share position. After asking for comments he has opted to employ one single full time employee, working 5 days a week, 8.00am to 5.30pm. The new position will be that of PA who must have 80-100 wpm.He has advised that this situation will result in redundancy for both of us and will accept offers of Voluntary Redundancy or will select whom he thinks is best suited for the new position of PA and re-engage either myself or my colleague with a new contract of employment.My employer has made the new position of PA impossible for me to consider. I think the selection process between myself and my colleague is unfair with regards ***** ***** typing speed as it is outside my skill set (of which he is fully aware) and I do not consider the new position a suitable alternative offer of employment for myself due to the extended office hours and extra days on top of the distance I have to travel to work. Going from part time to full time my working week would more than double from 22.5 hours to 47.5 and the expectation of sitting at a computer for up to 9 hours each day is unacceptable because of health issues of which my employer is also aware as it is the reason I am currently of work long term sick.I will have been employed 10 years at the end of May, my colleague has been employed since October 2017. Can she be considered for redundancy? If not and I am the only employee who is eligible for redundancy is it Voluntary or Compulsory or is it unfair dismissal?Thank you

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

Do you want to be made redundant if need be?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Ben,
Yes, as I do not see how the new position will be suitable. In my opinion it will cause a lot of anxiety and stress as there is no way I can type at the speed he now requires and together with the extra hours/days would be far too much for me to cope with.

when you say you will potentially be re-engaged on anew contract, in what capacity would that be?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It will be as a PA who must have a typing speed of 80-100 wpm which I don't. There won't be any other changes to the duties that either the secretary or myself do now. I have previously covered the office full time single handed for 7 months when I did all the typing and all the admin work needed, my employer was more than happy with my work then and in fact he was very reluctant to letting me go back to working 3 days.I am currently on long term sick leave and have been since October last year, just a short time after my colleague started work. I am due an operation in May to repair a torn rotator cuff and the very earliest I can expect to return to work is July this year and then on limited office duties. It could be 12 months to 18 months before I am able to fully have the use back in my shoulder.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Apart from the extended office hours and working 5 days.

OK, thanks. Voluntary redundancy is when you put yourself forward for redundancy and the employer accepts your application and makes you redundant as a result. If only one of you applies and is made redundant as a result the that would be VR. If both apply and the employer chooses one over the other, it would still be VR.

If no one applies for VR and the employer then has to choose who is selected for redundancy, that is when it will be compulsory redundancy.

Unfair dismissal will potentially occur if you are unfairly selected for redundancy or the employer does not follow a fair procedure (no consultation and no offer of suitable alternative employment).

It is entirely possible that the other employee may be selected for redundancy by the employer as it will depend on what selection criteria they choose to apply, but if that happens then you can always reject the offer they have made you as being unsuitable. That would then allow you to ask for redundancy and if the employer refuses it, you will have to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal instead.

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

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** up the issue about the different type of redundancies. However, I thought to be made redundant (voluntary or compulsory) you had to have worked for over two years for your employer? My colleague has only been there since October 2017 so if that is the case she cannot be made redundant can she?If by that token, I was the only person who was eligible for redundancy, and considering the only offer of "suitable alternative employment" was not suitable, which in my opinion has been made deliberately so with the aim of making it impossible for me to even consider the new role because of the skills required and the extended working hours and days, then would that not be seen as deliberately and knowingly making the duties of the new role out of my capabilities?

you can be made redundant regardless of length of service, however you cannot get redundancy pay unless you have been there at least 2 years, so she can still be made redundant, just not get redundancy pay.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Great that clears that up then.If you can you just clarify the 2nd paragraph please that will be great - if my employer has deliberately and knowingly made the conditions of the new role untenable for me knowing I won't be able to go for the new position on offer would this not be seen as acting unfairly towards me?

it is generally rather difficult to prove something like that - they can always justify it as being a business need and that it is what they require, rather than it being deliberately aimed at removing you. Still, if you think you can prove it you can try and use it against them and potentially try to negotiate a better payout but that is of course not guaranteed

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you Ben for you help and advice. It has helped to clear things up. It's just that after 10 years of loyal service it's come to this, especially as it has happened whilst I have been away on sick leave, I have no idea what my colleague thinks about it all either. I am happy to take redundancy just wanted to make sure it was all being done fairly.Thanks again.

I can't say whether they have any ulterior motives in trying to potentially remove you but do not hesitate to highlight any issues you have noticed and asking them for an enhanced offer - you have nothing to lose, at worst they will give you what you were going to get anyway

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks Ben that's good advice. Will do.

you are most welcome