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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 70310
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am about to be made redundant after 13 years with the

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I am about to be made redundant after 13 years with the company. I had been off work for 6 weeks due to having a knee replacement, during which time they absorbed my work into other departments and now they are saying they don’t have enough work for me to do full time and would be struggling to find things for me part time. I have a meeting with them next week mainly for them to tell me that my services are no longer required. I don’t want to cut my hours down to part time if that is what they offer me. Besides which if I accepted part time and then they still made me redundant sometime after that am I right in thinking that my redundancy pay would be calculated on a part time wage.
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: My MD and the newly appointed works manager had me in the office last week and told me that because they have restructured the company that they they were struggling to find any work for me full time and very little part time and that I had to go away and think about things but reading between the lines they had already made up their minds that they wanted to make me redundant. I am 68 years old and I don’t know of that has anything to do with their decision or not but I still have a quick brain and able bodies. I have not yet been able to get in contact with a solicitor that deals with employment issues.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: i am an employee and I don’t belong to a union because the company would not allow us to have one.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I can’t think of anything further at this time other than all this came about afte I had 6 weeks off recovering from my operation and got back to work to all this mess.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

What do you specifically want to know about this, please?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is it right that they can distribute your work to other departments then tell you that they have no full time work for you and that they are struggling to find part time work, knowing full well that they intend to make you redundant in the end.

Thank you. What the employer has done is possible, as long as they can show that this is a redundancy situation. According to the Employment Rights Act 1996, redundancy occurs in the following circumstances:

1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed

2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of the location where the employee worked

3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind

Generally, redundancy occurs when an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees, either within the business as a whole, or within a particular site, business unit, function or job role. There are various reasons why this may happen, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisation, workplace relocation, etc. The reason for the proposed redundancies will rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that the actual reason satisfied one of the statutory definition of redundancy above.

One of the frequently misunderstood reasons for redundancy is when it is caused by an alleged reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind. Many people think a job has to actually disappear for there to be redundancy but that is not the case and the following are examples of genuine redundancies:

  • The same amount of work remains but fewer employees are needed to do it (this can include consolidation of jobs by spreading out certain duties amongst existing employees or outsourcing the work to contractors)
  • There is less work of a particular kind and fewer employees are needed to do it (e.g. when a client reduces their work with the employer)
  • There is less work of a particular kind, but the same number of employees are required overall (e.g. having to reduce employee’s hours)

So as long as the employer can show that their situation fell within one of the definitions of redundancy, the test will be satisfied and the focus then shifts on the remainder of the redundancy procedure. This would look at how the employer consulted with employees, whether any suitable alternative employment was offered to those at risk and the general fairness of the redundancy procedure applied by the employer.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for your information. It seems they have done it by the book and I have no leg to stand on in that respect. Though I do feel they have been very underhanded. Many thanks.

I appreciate that but hopefully it clarifies your position at least. All the best

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Many thanks. X

All the best

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