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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 55138
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am one of 6 IT managers each responsible for a separate

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I am one of 6 IT managers each responsible for a separate business area, who have all been put at risk of redundancy. I am responsible for Logistics systems, and my colleagues are responsible for Customer Care, B&M, Marketing, Financial Services and MIS. The new structure goes from 6 managers to 5 and they are planning to combines B&M and Logistics.
In 1 to 1 discussions with my manager from January onwards he has implied that this was going to happen and that I should not discuss it because it affects other staff. He sent out notes from those meetings with the following comments:-
03/01/2018 - "We discussed possible business areas of synergy alongside Logistics and I’ve asked you to think about which these would be – we agreed that B&M was an obvious candidate"
28/02/2018 - "CP shared some outline thoughts on the future of the Logistics and B&M teams although these need to be treated confidentially for the time being"
Is this a breach of the process? The consultation meeting is tomorrow and I'd like to know if it would be worth trying to get a settlement agreement.
Also, our current role as Business Systems Managers states that the purpose of the role is "To work closely with key business stakeholders and colleagues to design and deliver cost effective, working solutions in support of business objectives, requirements and problems" and the key interfaces state that we will "own a relationship between IT and a Business Director, being the conduit for all communication and discussion regarding business and systems change". The new role they claim aligns with our current role has no business contact, so can this new role really be considered a fair alternative?
Sue Lowe

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

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
15 years permanent
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
15 years permanent and 12 months contract before that

What do you think is a breach of process - asking you not to discuss this with anyone?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It seems like they have decided to target 1 of the 6 of us back in Feb but redundancy was only announced 10th May

I do not see anything unlawful about that to be honest – often plans for redundancies are made well in advance – it is not just a sudden requirement that triggers it. A company may wish to plan ahead and make plans on how to restructure in the future and discuss possible options months in advance of actually starting the process.

As to the suitability of the alternative role, it very much depends on how much of the current role the business contact took up and also what importance it has in the role itself – is it just one of a list of tasks, o does it form a key part of it, which means that removing it completely changes the role to a degree that it means it is no longer suitable.

Reasonableness when rejecting a role is based on the subjective reasons the employee has for rejecting it, such as personal circumstances, health, family commitments, etc. Suitability is based on both objective and subjective criteria, with the most common factors that make an offer unsuitable as follows, which includes changes in duties, which do not match the employee’s skills. However, there is no specific level of change which means something is unsuitable and each case is determined on its own facts, something which in the end only a tribunal can make a decision on.

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