How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74402
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I am a probate paralegal in Scotland and my employer has

This answer was rated:

Good Morning, I am a probate paralegal in Scotland and my employer has furloughed me, he says there is no fee earning work that I can do, which is not quite true and he now has the archivist typing my work (making a mess of it as well). He will not provide me with a return to work date and he has also now put most of his staff down to 80% salary as he said he cannot afford to make up the 20% difference which he paid to us in May and April. I spoke to him yesterday and he informed me that he has employed a new solicitor from 1st June who is working full time and is using my desk, I am now concerned that he will make me redundant, what are my rights?
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Termination? You did not read my message
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I have already told you all of that in my original message
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

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.

How long have you worked for this employer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
5 years 1 month
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you please cancel my phone call request

Hi there, the pop-up mentioning a phone call – this is an automatic offer made by the system, giving you the opportunity to pay extra to discuss things over the phone. Please contact customer services to cancel the call and request a refund by following the link below:

In the meantime, 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also have a colleague, a legal Secretary, who is currently on maternity leave and who is also working from remotely from home. She is also being sent some of my work to do. I am also very concerned that a new employee, someone who I don't know and have never met is sitting working from my desk and using my equipment, how safe will this be for my eventual return to work, should I request that my work station is professionally cleaned?

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst redundancy is always an option, there are certain pre-requisites for it to be fair.

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.

In terms of cleaning your desk, you can ask that but it won’t be anything more than sanitising it and any equipment on it.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am also wondering why he wrote to all employees to say he cannot afford to make up our wages with 20% from the firm bust can employ a new full time member of staff, whilst all but a few employees have been furloughed, that does not seem fair to me?

I agree, but then if I am playing Devil’s advocate – not paying 20% for all furloughed workers could provide enough spare cash to have that person, with some left over. It all depends on the actual figures involved though.

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your assistance, kind regards. Carolyn

All the best

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you