There are many reasons a business may face a redundancy situation. Employers most commonly cite a downturn in workload; the closure of the business; economic pressures on the business or changes in working methods as the reasons for a redundancy situation. Read on for more information.
We always hope the information on our website is helpful, but we are aware that the best assistance is to discuss your problem with a fully qualified redundancy solicitor. If you would like a free consultation with one of the team at Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, please use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01522 440512 and we’ll be happy to help
What Is A Redundancy Situation?
For an employee to be dismissed by reason of redundancy, the definition of redundancy must be met. Your dismissal must be wholly or mainly attributable to:
- Your employer ceasing to trade altogether; or
- A workplace closing or moving; or
- There is a reduced need for employees to carry out a particular kind of work.
Each of the above situations is addressed below.
Closure Of The Whole Business
As the title suggests, a redundancy situation will arise if your employer ceases (or intends to cease) the whole business. Essentially, this means the business will no longer trade anymore.
This redundancy situation can arise regardless of whether the closure is permanent or temporary. This means, for example, even if your employer closes the business for a few months to refurbish, the definition of redundancy may still be met.
A Workplace Is Closing Or Moving
Most commonly, this redundancy situation arises when an employer closes one of their sites or relocates the site you work from. Again, the closure or relocation can be either temporary or permanent.
You should check your contract of employment if this redundancy situation arises. You may have a mobility clause in your contract. A mobility clause will usually be worded as “your usual place of work is X, or such other place as reasonably required.”
If you do have a mobility clause in your contract of employment, your employer may use the clause to avoid making you redundant (and therefore avoid paying your redundancy payment). Essentially, your employer may expect you to move sites to avoid your redundancy.
Generally, if you have a mobility clause in your contract of employment and you refuse to move to a different place of work, you risk losing your right to a redundancy payment. In this situation, your dismissal would be classed as a misconduct dismissal (i.e., being dismissed because you have not followed your employer’s instructions), not a redundancy dismissal.
A Reduced Need For Employees
The Employment Rights Act 1996 defines this redundancy situation as:
(b)the fact that the requirements of that business—
(i)for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or
(ii)for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employer,
have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.
Essentially, this redundancy situation occurs when an employer needs less employees doing a particular kind of work. This may be deemed necessary as there has been a downturn of work in that area of the business; the employer plans a reorganisation to create more cost-effective working methods or the company’s commercial focus has shifted away from that particular area of work.
As above, the words “cease or diminish” can mean either permanently or temporarily. For example, if your employer loses a big order (and therefore has a reduced need for employees), the redundancy definition may still be satisfied, even if they regain the workload in the future.
What Questions Should I Ask My Employer?
Your employer should consult you about the redundancy process and explain why the redundancy situation has arisen. During this process, it is important you gather as much information as possible. You should ask your employer questions such as:
- Why has the redundancy situation arisen?
- How many redundancies are they proposing?
- Why does the redundancy process need to happen now?
- What is your employer hoping to achieve?
- What would happen to your duties if you were made redundant?
- What alternative solutions have they considered?
- Has your employer considered bumping? – This is the process of moving a potentially redundant employee into another role and dismissing the employee currently performing that role.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you are facing a redundancy situation, please contact us for a no obligation, free consultation with a specialist employment lawyer. Just use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email email@example.com or call us on 01522 440512 and we’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, for more information about the redundancy process, please see: https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/resignation-dismissal-and-redundancy/redundancy/
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