Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. If the employer is trying to reduce their headcount and the remaining jobs are the same, or substantially similar to the ones from which the employees will be made redundant, it will be difficult for the employer to justify that these employees have not ‘made the grade’.
It would be understandable if the role was different and they had not previously proven themselves in it, or their skills, qualifications and experience does not necessarily match these that the employer is expecting. In these circumstances they should still be offered the role but it can be subject to a 4-week trial period to determine their suitability.
However, in this case, the roles are pretty much the same so saying that the employees who have successfully done the role up to now suddenly do not meet the grade, will be difficult to justify.
If anyone with over 2 years service is made redundant as a result, they could potentially look into claiming for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.
Before a claim can be made against the employer in the Employment Tribunal, the affected employee would be required to participate in a process known as ‘early conciliation’, which is administered through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the employee and their employer to agree on an out-of-court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in the Employment Tribunal. The employer does not have to engage in these discussions and the process is voluntary for them. If they refuse to participate, or the conciliation is unsuccessful, the employee will be issued with a certificate by ACAS allowing them to make a claim.
However, if a settlement is reached, the employee would officially agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be included as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.
In order to initiate the early conciliation procedure, ACAS must be contacted, either online by filling in the following form (https://tell.acas.org.uk/find-a-solution-to-your-employment-dispute), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-#### They will explain the process and what happens next and get the ball rolling on your behalf.
If the early conciliation process was not successful, ACAS have issued a certificate to confirm that and you still wanted to make a formal claim in the Employment Tribunal, the claim can be initiated via the following link:
Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.