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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 66584
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was employed as a housekeeper (50hrs a week) for just over

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Hi there I was employed as a housekeeper (50hrs a week) for just over two years. My boss furloughed me for three weeks then made me redundant last week. She is now looking for a part time cleaner and said I could apply for that position. She is interviewing other candidates and will let me know by the end of the week if my application was successful. My question is, is she obliged to offer me that job in the first place? Cleaning was a main part of my job and I feel that would be unfair dismissal if she didn't. Thank you
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No. I'm not aware of any HR and she is a director of the company. I can't afford to see a solicitor at this time I'm afraid
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I was employed, full time and don't belong to a union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that's everything thank you

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.

Are the jobs exactly the same? How did your previous role differ from the new part time position?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hi Ben, thank you.
As a housekeeper I was mainly responsible for cleaning (that took most of my time). I was also doing laundry and ironing, occasional shopping, some cooking and looking after the dog and some gardening.
Part time cleaner position that is advertised now includes cleaning, laundry and ironing

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

I would indeed agree that if you are not offered that role then the original dismissal is likely to be unfair.

If there is a redundancy situation, the employer has a duty to make a reasonable search for suitable alternative employment (SAE). If such positions exist they must then be offered to those at risk of redundancy. The objective is to avoid having to make someone redundant and keep them in a job. Failure to do so can easily make the whole redundancy unfair, even if there was a genuine reason for it to start with.

You can remind the employer about this and make it clear that you will have to potentially seek redress in the Employment Tribunal if the original redundancy stands and you are not offered this new alternative role. Just make sure you act in time though as the time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of the original dismissal.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you Ben, great help.
Shall I wait for the boss' decision or email her now? I'm hoping that she will offer me the job so wouldn't want to make any threats (she wouldn't take it nicely) and I'm scared that if she felt that she had to offer me the job the atmosphere at work would be awful.
I was given my notice last Thursday so plenty of time to act.
Would you be able to let me know how much competition I would be likely to get in case I needed to take this further please? I was on £582 gross/week and it is highly unlikely that I will find a job with matching salary any time soon with the current situation.
Thank you

Hi you can indeed wait to see what their decision is so that you don’t unnecessarily rock the boat. In the event you have to make a claim for unfair dismissal then this will very much depend on how long you are left without work. There are various calculators you can use to give you an idea of what you may be able to claim, for example:

https://www.winstonsolicitors.co.uk/unfair_dismissal_calculator.html

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hi Ben thank you for that. I'll wait to hear what happens.I had a quick look at the calculators but I'm unsure what would be a reasonable amount of time needed to find a new job. I wouldn't want to go OTT with it but also wouldn't want to be left out of pocket.
Look forward to hearing from you.

There is no definitive answer I’m afraid, especially because by the time your claim is heard it would be several months later and you would have a better idea of what has happened with finding a new job, so at this stage you simply have to guess, considering what the job market for the industry you are working in is doing. The maximum you can claim for is a year anyway

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
That's brilliant, thank you for all your help, really appreciate!

All the best

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