Redundancy & Unfair Dismissal – My Client’s Story
I was delighted to help a lovely gentleman challenge a redundancy situation with his employer. Read on for more information about my client’s situation and how I helped.
My client had spent many years working with a company in their IT department. He came to see me in a state of complete frustration. He had been subjected to a redundancy process by his employer which had taken the best part of 6 months.
In essence, the company wanted to restructure and to merge my client’s position with that of one of his colleagues to reduce the number of managers in his section. This was, therefore, a classic redundancy situation and my client was “at risk”.
The difficulty arose in how the company were selecting who should be made redundant. My client explained that the newly merged post had been offered to his colleague. This was without him being able to apply or put forward a case that he should be considered for that post. My client stated he was just as able and qualified to undertake the merged role as his colleague. However, he had been given no opportunity to apply or be considered.
When he raised his concerns about the way in which his colleague had been offered a post, he was told that the company would not reverse their decision. They did state they would consider him for other positions within the company. In an attempt to cooperate (and retain his employment with the company) my client started to apply for all advertised vacancies. As this was a large company with branches worldwide, vacancies did regularly become available. However, my client kept being interviewed but was never actually offered a position. He explained that on many occasions he was ‘down to the last two’ but the company had decided to recruit someone else to the vacant position.
There then came a point where my client was issued with notice for the termination of his employment. He was told the company wanted to terminate his employment with immediate effect and make a lump sum payment to him in lieu of notice. This was something my client challenged as he was aware that further vacancies would become available during his three-month notice period. Being on site and in the company, he wanted to be recruited to one of those vacancies and avoid his redundancy. The company refused, insisting on his immediate dismissal.
Fixed Fee Consultation
I met with my client for a lengthy Fixed Fee Consultation. As I went through my client’s situation with him, I explained I considered he had an excellent claim of unfair dismissal. We discussed that the company’s decision to reduce their staffing from two managers to one was a classic redundancy situation. However, I explained that the manner of selecting him for redundancy and offering the newly created vacancy to his colleague was clearly unfair.
We then discussed that the company had an obligation to offer him any suitable alternative roles they had available. My client was able to demonstrate a number of posts he had applied for with his employer but another person had been appointed. Dealing with those vacancies, we noted that in one situation an internal employee who was not “at risk” of redundancy was appointed instead of my client. I explained that as the company had an obligation to him to avoid his redundancy, the position should have been offered to him as his employment was “at risk”.
A similar situation had occurred in relation to another position where, in fact, an external candidate was appointed as opposed to my client. Again, I explained that I considered the company had failed to comply with their obligations to avoid his redundancy. Obviously as an employee “at risk” of redundancy he should have been appointed as opposed to an external candidate.
In addition, my client explained that the roles he had expected to become available during his notice period had been advertised just a week after the termination of his employment. We discussed that had he been allowed to work his notice (as opposed to being dismissed immediately and paid his notice as a lump sum in lieu), he would have been able to apply for those posts as an “at risk” candidate. My client explained he would have met the job specification and criteria for the vacancies. He was concerned that the timing of his dismissal and the decision not to allow him to work his notice was deliberate to avoid him being able to apply for the new positions.
I explained to my client that given the above he had an excellent claim for unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal. My client instructed me to proceed with his claim.
Employment Tribunal Claim
Very early in the process we received an offer of settlement from my client’s employer. I had assessed the value of my client’s claim but, at the stage the offer was made, we were unsure as to how long he would remain out of work. In the circumstances, my client took a gamble and rejected the offer as he was worried it might take him some significant time to find work in his niche industry. Therefore, he wanted to make sure he received sufficient compensation for any period of unemployment.
Matters progressed and a few weeks before statements were due to be exchanged, a much more significant offer was made to my client for settlement. By this stage he had a number of potential jobs he thought would be offered to him. He therefore agreed to accept a settlement which reimbursed him for his period of being out of work and, also, provided a nest egg for the future.
My client was delighted with the result and I was very happy to have helped.
Can Lincs Law Employment Solicitors help you?
If you have an Employment Tribunal claim or, like my client, are going through a redundancy consultation please call our offices on 01522 440512 for a free, no obligation, telephone consultation. Alternatively, to find out more about what we do at Lincs Law Employment Solicitors please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/
Specialist Employment Solicitor, Lincs Law Employment Solicitors