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Unfair Redundancy and What to do

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 21 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Redundancy Employer Complaint Unfair

Redundancies frequently give rise to disputes between employers and their former employees. One of the circumstances which can give rise to dispute is called unfair dismissal.

Failure to Follow Proper Redundancy Procedure

A redundancy will always be considered unfair if the employer has not followed the procedure laid down in the law for carrying it out. For example, if more than 20 people are being made redundant at once, the employer is supposed to engage in collective consultation. Failure to do that would make the redundancies automatically unfair.

Unfair Dismissal

Apart from procedural violations, unfair dismissal exists when an employer tells one or more employees that they will lose their jobs because of redundancy, but, in reality, that is not the real reason. In this case, redundancy is being used as a pretext for something else. The real reasons behind an unfair dismissal can vary enormously. Some common ones include :
  • Prejudice against you because of your age, sex, race or religion.
  • Personal dislike.
  • Unhappiness with your job performance. (In fact this is a valid reason for dismissing someone from a job but there are set procedures an employer should go through, including warnings about your performance and so forth, before the dismissal takes place. An unscrupulous employer may wish to evade these.)
  • Pregnancy.
  • Asserting your statutory rights, for example by asking your employer for a written statement of your responsibilities.
  • Being a member of a trade union or a representative of your fellow employees in some other form.

How to Tell if a Redundancy is Unfair

It is not always easy to tell if a redundancy is unfair. If your employer or manager has made prejudicial remarks to you over time, referring to your race or religion, for example, obviously that would provide a good indication that something else may lie behind your dismissal.

Typically, in redundancies, several people will be made redundant at the same time. If you are the only one who is made redundant, that, too, may provide an indication that something is amiss, although there are times when this can be justified.

Although we speak of this or that person being made redundant, it is more correct to say that a person’s job is being made redundant, rather than the individual. In genuine redundancies, the employer no longer needs the relevant job functions to be performed. If, therefore, other people within the organisation do the same job as you, but are not made redundant, this might give an indication that the redundancy is unfair. Of course, there also are cases where an employer still needs a job to be done, just not to the same extent as before, so some people doing the job may have to be let go. In this case, the criteria for those who are to be made redundant should be clearly explained to you during the redundancy process, and those criteria should be objectively-based.

A clear sign that the redundancy is unfair is if, after you are terminated from the position, someone else is recruited to fill it.

Unfair Dismissal – Protection and Redress

Unfortunately, not everyone is protected from unfair dismissal. In general, only those with one year of service with their employer are protected legally. However, if the reason for dismissal involves certain kinds of discrimination, this restriction does not apply.

If your case falls within the scope of the law, you can take your complaint about unfair dismissal to an Employment Tribunal. You must do so within three months of your employment ending. Once the procedure begins, the burden will be on your employer to demonstrate that your dismissal was fair. If unfairness is proved, the remedies available range from reinstating you in your job to forcing your employer to pay financial compensation to you for having lost it. Further details about the complaint procedure are given in articles elsewhere on this site.

Unfair Dismissal – Conclusion

Bad employers use redundancy as a way of getting rid of employees they don’t like. Fortunately, legal remedies exist to deter or punish them for doing so.

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Public sector restructure, been told I can't apply for any new positions as they have been graded st a much higher level than I am on, but I've been doing the job for 4 years! Apparently you can only apply for positions graded one higher than your current level. Unison and unite can't agree on this. How do I find out if this is legal?
Renny - 21-Jun-17 @ 8:21 PM
On Thursday last week our company asked everyone to dial into a conference call to talk about staff levels On Friday when I got home from work I went to the club when I walked in I was informed by the club Stewart that I was been made redundant they new before me I got the letter telling me on Saturday that I wasto attend a consultation
Jacky - 20-Jun-17 @ 8:23 PM
Our dept were informed last week of a restructure in order to build & strengthen then team due to increased workload and demands being put on it. Overdue as we really have been busy and very short staffed. Outcome for individuals included part time contract made full time, out of contract person given perm contract, a drop in status for someone due to a change of focus but no drop in money. However I've been told my position (perm for nearly 4 years) is no longer in the structure but I can apply for a higher role. The higher role comes with A LOT more stress but not much more money. I have been doing this higher role in reality for over a year but still told I must apply as it's a big step up for me. I suspect they just want me gone tbh. They have 3 new lower roles (one already given to the out of contact colleague, the other filed by a temp who starts tomorrow). Shouldn't they have considered me for these lower roles first ?
Ms S - 18-Jun-17 @ 6:01 PM
Kelly - Your Question:
Hi, of March this year the branch I work for within the company were under TUPE transfer, I did not transfer as was offered a job at my current employment. Since then I have been clearing the work left from the branch and the job offer I was offered has drastically changed and is not a suitable job alternative for myself. My boss emailed me this week and said as my role is coming to an end I was to start this new role, I have not agreed to this as the role is unsuitable and told him as such. I want to know if redundancy is an option, I am the only person who would be made redundant as my role no longer exists but work elements are still required just not has a whole. I have had no consultation with regards to redundancy and my HR are not very forthcoming. My manager has been particular frosty with myself not including me in team meetings, deliberately keeping me out of the loop for the past month. The role I am currently in is Finance Manager and the role he has offered me is supervising construction works, thus my alternative offer is absolutely not suitable. If you could offer some advice I would be very grateful. Many Thanks Kelly

Our Response:
Due to the complexities of your situation, you would have to speak to ACAS directly regarding this in order to be made aware of your full employment rights.
RedundancyExpert - 16-Jun-17 @ 10:54 AM
Hi, of March this year the branch I work for within the company were under TUPE transfer, I did not transfer as was offered a job at my current employment. Since then I have been clearing the work left from the branch and the job offer I was offered has drastically changed and is not a suitable job alternative for myself. My boss emailed me this week and said as my role is coming to an end I was to start this new role, I have not agreed to this as the role is unsuitable and told him as such. I want to know if redundancy is an option, I am the only person who would be made redundant as my role no longer exists but work elements are still required just not has a whole. I have had no consultation with regards to redundancy and my HR are not very forthcoming. My manager has been particular frosty with myself not including me in team meetings, deliberately keeping me out of the loop for the past month. The role I am currently in is Finance Manager and the role he has offered me is supervising construction works, thus my alternative offer is absolutely not suitable. If you could offer some advice I would be very grateful. Many Thanks Kelly
Kelly - 15-Jun-17 @ 3:52 PM
Hi my employer has made redundant all jobs and recreated new ones. We have had to to a behavioural assessment which if you pass you can apply for one of the new jobs. They have not served a notice of redundancy and said they won't until the jobs have been advertised and people interviewed. Do I have to apply for another job? I thought that they had to offer a suitable alternative and not ask everyone to apply for another job.
Chris193 - 12-Jun-17 @ 1:38 PM
Hi, I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up! During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered. I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down. Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions? It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision. Thanks.
PAR - 9-Jun-17 @ 9:24 PM
Hi, I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up! During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered. I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down. Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions? It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision. Thanks.
PAR - 1-Jun-17 @ 10:51 PM
I have just been made redundant. They pulled two of us in the office (same job title) different roles . And said one of us we're at risk and they were using scores from our manager to decide who. The letter they gave us at the time said the wrong department were at risk. An hour or so later they pulled us in individually and told me I was at risk. I asked if this ment I was defiantly going to loose my job they said they cannot say that but my mindset was right. Over the next ten day I had two consolation meetings. On the tenth day I had a dismissal meeting on the letter they again wrote the wrong department. They basically told me my job was no position was no longer available .. however someone else who already works there is doing my job as well as there own (they didn't do much I did all there work prior to this). They never offered me any alternative like less days or different role.
P - 19-May-17 @ 11:29 AM
PAR - Your Question:
Hi,I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up!During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered.I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down.Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions?It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision.Thanks.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, thetime limit for issuing a tribunal claim for unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal is on/or before three months from the termination of your employment.
RedundancyExpert - 17-May-17 @ 11:53 AM
Hi, I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up! During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered. I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down. Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions? It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision. Thanks.
PAR - 16-May-17 @ 7:47 PM
Vik - Your Question:
Hi there. Advice needed!Just been made redundant but have noticed an issue in my contract. I've been working 40 hours per week but my contract states that I should only work 24 hours a week. Do I have grounds to make a claim against my employers?

Our Response:
Unless you complained or objected to working extra hours at the time there is little you can do given you consented to work 40 hours per week (by working the hours). Your employer would have expected you to be familiar with the terms and hours you were employed to do, as presumably specified at your interview and on issue of contract which you would have been instructed to read and sign.
RedundancyExpert - 16-May-17 @ 1:54 PM
Hi there. Advice needed! Just been made redundant but have noticed an issue in my contract. I've been working 40 hours per week but my contract states that I should only work 24 hours a week. Do I have grounds to make a claim against my employers?
Vik - 16-May-17 @ 7:44 AM
Hi, I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up! During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered. I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down. Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions? It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision. Thanks.
PAR - 13-May-17 @ 8:58 AM
Hi, I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up! During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered. I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down. Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions? It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision. Thanks.
PAR - 13-May-17 @ 8:47 AM
PAR - Your Question:
Hi,I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up!During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered.I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down.Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions?It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision.Thanks.

Our Response:
The normal time limit for making your discrimination claim in the employment tribunal is three months less one day from the date when the discrimination happened. You can see more via the link here.
RedundancyExpert - 12-May-17 @ 10:16 AM
Hi, I was made redundant in 2010, after being told effectively I wasn't needed. I was summoned into my office managers office, where my line manager issued me with said redundancy notice. At the time I was in charge of the computer systems at 2 offices, each in a different county. Also at the time I was being treated for depression and was on medication. The office manager took me to one side later and told me that his hands were tied and the decision was made higher up! During that original meeting, no offers of alternative employment or even reduced hours were offered. I have recently found out that the Monday following the final day of my employment, 2 other people started to do my job on a 'on demand' basis, one of which self employed and the other a member of staff. I also saw my ex office manager late last year who confirmed that this was happening up to the point he left the company. At the end of 2011/early 2012 one of the offices closed down. Is there any advantage in persuing this to try and recover, not what I would have earned but more so the missing pension contributions? It may seem that I am narked about this, but had I been 100% well at the time I am sure I would have contested this original decision. Thanks.
PAR - 11-May-17 @ 7:21 PM
I am currently in my redundancy stage where the job I work for has gave me a list of jobs still available where I work. But I have noticed that of of the jobs I was interested in has now been filled before I have asked for more information on the position is my employer allowed to do this ?
David - 21-Apr-17 @ 8:18 AM
Hi, the London branch of my company is going to close. We were told verbally at the end of November 2016. We were also told we would have a late 2015 bonus paid by end of March, with an estimated percentage. Since then, we've had 2 other group meetings with GM but nothing about when we will actually be made redundant, we still don't know what our redundancy/package will be, but we've been told we will not be getting the bonus we were told we were going to receive! As it stands, since November, nothings been made official in terms of termination date, we've been told if we leave before they say we can leave, we will loose any entitlement we are due. I personally feel very stressed and frustrated because I don't know what is going on, cant go out looking for a job because at the same time I was told "in my case, it would be financially beneficial for me to stay". With sound rumours going round, it seems we will only get the basic payout, no bonus, no nothing! Is my employer acting right? Are they being fair? And if not, do I have a case against them for caused damage and unfair dismissal? Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you
Straightoutofwork - 13-Apr-17 @ 3:00 AM
@Nick - it might be that the other locations aren't at risk, so there is no need to make redundancies at that location. Jude.
JAS - 4-Apr-17 @ 2:08 PM
I was made redundant as the company was in trouble. 4 people had the same role as I had performed. I was with the company for over 7 years. All my colleagues less than 2. The following week 2 were invited to rejoin the company and within 2 weeks after my redundancy, 2 other people were hired to fill the same job role. I was only ever praised for my work performance, never received any warning. Can I be made redundant for my job then to be filled by another person in under 2 weeks?
Grrrrrr - 2-Apr-17 @ 10:57 PM
I have been given a letter to say I am at risk of redundancy however this manager does not even know what I do! I don't have a relevant job description to what I currently do and the work is not going. The company is growing quickly and we have been told that this is not a cost saving exercise but to future proof the company moving forward. I don't see how he can propose to make me redundant when the work will still be there, I solely do it.What do you think? Thanks
Foxy - 1-Apr-17 @ 1:14 PM
I have just been told my jib is at risk and I am now in the consultancy period. However there are two other people in the company doing the same job but at different locations and they have not been given letters or they haven't yet. Is this a case of unfair redundancy? Thanks Nick
Nick - 1-Apr-17 @ 8:17 AM
I have recently been made redundant while on maternity leave (one week before I was due to return) My employer says my job is no longer needed - however they have continued to use the self employed person who covered my maternity leave and an additional self employed person for her days off.As I was the only one on there payroll for this job they say that no other employed payroll staff that could do my job and there was no other jobs available to me in the company - even though they are keeping the self employed people on to do my job.Are they allowed to continue to use the self employed staff rather than let me return to my job on there payroll? Thank you for any advice!!
Penguin1987 - 30-Mar-17 @ 9:09 PM
My firm has just announced that they are reducing the working hours by 38hours ,there are 4people working togetherto spread the hours out itthey have made 1person redundant but the other 3were in hours that took us in to redundancy also but as one has gone they have spread him hours out between the other 3 so no redundancy for us can they finish one person and then use those hours with the otherpeople straight away
Babs - 27-Mar-17 @ 3:44 PM
@Mr Unlucky - that is unlucky. There isn't anything you can do either> It's not a trap - just bad timing. :(
SaraX - 27-Mar-17 @ 12:20 PM
I handed in my notice after more than 25 years service. I worked the full month notice as required. The day before my final day, all my colleagues with the same job title received letters stating that they were being made redundant. Should I too have received a letter as I was still employed by the company? I could have recinded my notice and taken redundancy! I feel betrayed and simply allowed to walk into a trap.
Mr Unlucky - 26-Mar-17 @ 8:51 PM
Mr T - Your Question:
I have been here just over 4 years. My director has said that they cannot afford me in their overheads, she will do the work and I have to show her everything involved in my job so she can do it on a daily basis. This may take 3 months so I will go sometime in June.Is this fair ?

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here, which should help you to answer your question.
RedundancyExpert - 22-Mar-17 @ 11:19 AM
I have been here just over 4 years. My director has said that they cannot afford me in their overheads, she will do the work and I have to show her everything involved in my job so she can do it on a daily basis. This may take 3 months so I will go sometime in June. Is this fair ?
Mr T - 21-Mar-17 @ 1:09 PM
Kaz123 - Your Question:
I work for a company where there are two shops in town, they have decided to close one, ( not the one I work in) is this right?

Our Response:
I imagine your company has chosen the outlet that earns the least amount of money. There is nothing untoward about this decision if your company needs to cut costs.
RedundancyExpert - 17-Mar-17 @ 2:52 PM
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