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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I have worked for my company for 6 years. I am 66 years old.

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I have worked for my company for 6 years. I am 66 years old. The work I do is in construction on new build houses "snagging" which means putting things right after the contractors have left. I was told on Wednesday that I will have to work part time, possibly only 1 day a week,or be made redundant. The reason given is that volume of work has decreased although I am still doing work that should have been completed months ago. Can you please tell me what my rights are ie 1 do I have time allowed to think about the proposal eg a month consultation? 2 if I do accept part time can I do it on a trial period and if it does not work out I am entitled to redundancy based on my full-time salary? Ray xxxxxxxxxx

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How many people are being made redundant in total?


Hi BenJust Ray who is the only person who does this role, however sub contractors also carry out the same duties


Hi Ben Just Ray who is the only person who does this role, however sub contractors also carry out the same duties

Ben Jones :

Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier on. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue with my advice.


The term 'redundancy' is used to describe a situation in which an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees. There are various reasons as to why redundancies may be required, 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 the statutory definition of a redundancy, which can be found in The Employment Rights Act 1996:

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

2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites

3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind (this is where many employees get confused as they believe a job has to actually disappear for them to be made redundant).

The third reason above creates the most challenges. Examples of when there is a reduced requirement to do work of a particular kind are:

  • The same amount of work remains but fewer employees are needed to do it. This includes consolidating some of its jobs (e.g. spreading out certain jobs amongst existing employees).

  • There is less work of a particular kind and fewer employees are needed to do it (both the work and the headcount shrink)

  • There is less work of a particular kind, but the same number of employees are required overall.


So as long as the employer can show that their situation fell within one of the accepted reasons for declaring a redundancy, the test will be satisfied and the focus then shifts on the remainder of the redundancy procedure. This would include what consultation took place, whether any suitable alternative employment was offered to those at risk and the general fairness of the redundancy procedure applied by the employer.


In terms of the consultation, as you are the only person being made redundant there is no minimum period for consultation and the employer can usually just hold a couple of meetings with you to discuss the situation. So you cannot expect a month to think about it unfortunately.


However, if there is another job that they can offer you as an alternative to making you redundant you can consider it. If it is not suitable you can reject it and still opt for redundancy. You have the right to a 4-week trial period in it so you can trial it before deciding whether it is something you wish to do instead of redundancy or if you would rather be made redundant.


Many thanks Ben, the information is useful


If there is anything further that may assist me I would appreciate you letting me know


Regards Ray

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