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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75138
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have been told that my job as a Finance Assistant is no

Customer Question

Hello I have been told that my job as a Finance Assistant is no longer "may no longer exist, but the company is bringing in someone else to help the Company Accountant and will be taking on my roll as well, is this legal Thank you Linda Ellingford
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Both my Manager and HR
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee and no union
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: At the moment the accounts team comprises of myself and my college and the Dept head, my College is also leaving as she requested Voluntary Redundancy, so this "new" person will be doing both our roles, had a meeting yesterday of Warning of Potential Redundancy and the next next consult will be some time next week and have been told this weill likely last1-2 weeks
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
since 01/01/2011
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

According to Section 139 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, redundancy occurs if a dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to one of the following circumstances:

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

2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of the actual workplace 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 reasons for the proposed redundancies can rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that they satisfied at least one of the statutory definitions of redundancy above.

The third reason, where there is a reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, is the one that is often misunderstood. Many people think that a job has to actually disappear for there to be redundancy. However, that is not the case and a job can still continue to exist, whilst employees who perform it can be made redundant. For example:

- 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) – this is most likely the scenario you are facing.

- 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)

As long as the employer can show that their situation fell within one of the official definitions of redundancy, the initial test will be satisfied and the focus then shifts on the remainder of the redundancy procedure, which must be conducted fairly. That would look at how the employer chose the pools for redundancy, what consultations they held with the affected employees and whether any suitable alternative employment was offered to those at risk.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

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.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thanks Ben looks like I've been shafted, have a good weekend
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Just be reminded that if the role that is being created is suitable for you to do as well, then you should be offered it as part of their duty to make you an offer of suitable alternative employment. You may still have to compete for it with the other person but at least you are considered for it

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hi there, thank you for your further queries, which I will be happy to answer. All you can do is provide whatever evidence you have. In the end, anything can potentially be used to support your claim, be it formal documents, emails, texts, call transcripts, even your own verbal evidence. It does not guarantee it will change the situation or even accepted by the court, but if that is all you have, then you cannot do much else and can only include the evidence you have access to