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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74358
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have just been made redundant during covid, but the reason

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Hi I have just been made redundant during covid, but the reason that my employer gave me initially was that my sales and opportunities funnel had no movement from mid march to now. I sell to the Education sector and the lock down has meant I have not been able to sell, although I have been actively working on other projects they set me. I also found out by accident as they started re directing my phone and emails prior to any risk meeting and so I questioned this. They are now saying its due to cost cutting and changing their UK model. They are American but I have a UK contract and have just over 2 years service. They have said they will put a package together next week and set a meeting. Is this OK or deemed as constructive dismissal.
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Not as yet, only the short call I had last night with the company owner, HR was present and my sales director. They are now wanting me to do a transition call with my manager only today prior to my official redundancy communication and I'm not sure what to do
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I'm an employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Don't belong to a union but they pay me via a payroll agency here and that's who holds my UK contract

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 are you ideally hoping for, given the circumstances?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A strong enough financial package to see me through during these times

Thank you. Leave it with me for now, although please note it is extremely busy at present due to the ongoing situation so there may be a delay in replying, but I will get back to you at some point today. Please do not reply in the meantime. Many thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK when can I expect a call

Just a quick clarification on phone calls – the pop-up offering you the chance to request one is automatic and I have no control over it. Therefore, if you request a call back there is no guarantee that I, or anyone else, would be available to fulfil it. At present, due to outside commitments, I cannot take calls but your request is open and visible to all other experts. If someone is available, they will accept it and call you, but if no one is free, then it will remain open until it is accepted or you decide to cancel it. In the meantime, you have already paid for a written response and that is the part I will continue helping you with.

Constructive dismissal is when you are forced to resign because of unfair treatment by the employer. There is no point in you doing that at this stage. Instead, you would be considering potential unfair dismissal if they proceed with the redundancy and you believe it is unfair.

Whilst the employer may have had some reasons initially for the potential redundancy, what would matter is what they actually used in the end and whether it was a genuine redundancy and they followed a fair procedure.

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.

If it is clear that what they have done does not accord wit h the above requirements, you can use it as part of any negotiations to try and get an improved offer.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, please can you confirm when I will receive a call as I have made the phone call payment. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry Ben just reading your comments regarding the phone call. Apologies
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben that answers my question. I will also await a call.

No worries, the call request will remain open until you cancel it or someone accepts it.

All the best

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