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Unfair Redundancy and What to do

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 14 Aug 2019 | 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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My wife and her colleagues have been place in a 30 day consultation period. The 30 days is up on the 3rd of september andher bosses have had a meeting with another company who works on the same site with them saying the company will close on the 31st august. Have the company broken the 30 day period which allows her to put a claim in due to them telling numerous people that the company will close? Kind regards
Jayjay - 14-Aug-19 @ 12:34 PM
My redundancy was carried out by a manager and team leader. I asked the team leader about the decision to make me redundant and not someone in an equal grade. He replied that he did not really understand what he was doing. Does this make the redundancy invalid
TUC229 - 14-Aug-19 @ 8:07 AM
My employer made me redundant without giving me 2 weeks statutory redundancy notice. Can he do that? If thats against the law, what penalties can my former employer face?
Mick - 10-Aug-19 @ 4:19 PM
My employer has included the ammount of overtime its employees have done in the redundancy matrix. As overtime was optional and the allocation of overtime was very hap hazard, is it legal to use overtime as part of the redundancy criteria.
RICH - 18-Jul-19 @ 9:25 AM
A few weeks ago I was put at risk of redundancy due to budget cuts and my role no longer being required. I found a new job not long after the first consultation and as I felt I didn't really have a way to defend my usefulness I felt i had to accept it and gave notice. Whilst working my final week notice I discovered that my team was due to transfer to a new manager in a couple of weeks. If I had known about this I would not have accepted the new job, without at least speaking to the new manager about my role. I feel I was not given a critical piece of information that would have helped me defend my role. Have I any right to complain/compensation?
Tracey - 2-Jul-19 @ 7:26 PM
I have recently been made redundant from a store that closed down 4 weeks after I had been transferred from a shop that is still open . My company have said ‘awe we didn’t know this was going to happen feel bad because we have just transferred you here and now it’s closing it’s happened overnight , we had sealed a deal with the landlords and then at the last minute we were told someone else was having the unit ‘. This was only told to us as we found out by accident when some technicians were in store measuring up and arranging to move things to another store because our store was closing ??
Semi wah wa - 28-Jun-19 @ 10:17 PM
I have recently noticed my job has been advertised, I've had no discussion about being demoted or losing my job. I've been employed for a new site for over a year working in various settings waiting until the new site is finished. I've been late a couple of times recently and now they have gone and said they cant trust me and have now posted an advertisement about my job. Where do I stand with this?
GJB - 21-Jun-19 @ 8:22 AM
I have been put at risk of redundancy and am now going through a 30 day consultation period. I am a mobile engineer and I work in an area where not everyone from my team carrying out the same jobs as me have been put at risk. Several people including myself have been selected in pools on the grounds of the postcode where we live and not the area we work. I would like to know if this is exceptable and should not everyone from the same work area carrying out the same tasks be put as risk?
Tracy - 13-Apr-19 @ 3:28 PM
Basically I work in a demolition firm 1 manager, 1 supervisor, 3 machine workers, 3 labourers. Ian one of the machine workers the lowest paid on £13hr other 2 machine drivers over £17.50hr. Today me and only one other machine driver was told that we are going to be made redundant due to the fact there is not enough work for the machines and to justify our wages or we could be demoted to labourers instead then made redundant if money worries continues. The 3rd machine driver wasn’t told anything he is on more money than me and gets to keep his position and wage? I don’t think it’s fair that only 2 of the 3 gets demoted or made redundant and the other nothing happened to him. And why me the lowest paid machine driver was picked when the others are on more money? Surely it makes sense to reduce the 2 top earning wage machine drivers and save money that way? I believe Me and the 2nd machine driver are being miss treated? Please reply thank you.
Toothless - 12-Mar-19 @ 10:55 PM
Hi, my manager told me “we don’t fit each other” couple of months ago and he raised concerns withouth ever giving me a structured feeeback or management guidance and support. I demanded these many times in the past. When I told him I’m open to discuss improving the areas he is concerned about, he refused. A week later I was invited in a meeting with HR, my manager and my manager’s boss. HE didn’t take notes and the talk was done only by the big boss. Again, he mentioned same “concerns” withouth justifying. They forced me to consider a step-down, a different position that doesn’t exist yet. I declined. My performance was great and I overachieved last year. However, I was given the lowest performance score. Now, a month later my manager handed me a letter that says I’m at risk of redundancy together with another manager in the team. We are three, but in the meeting we’re only two of us. The criteria for selection favourites the other manager. I am convinced that everything has been set for me to depart, but this time they try to follow “legal process”. However, I fee that there’s unfair stance and specifically they discriminate me. How shall I handle the process as I’m having only 2 weeks of consultative period?
KDe - 27-Jan-19 @ 1:03 AM
I have been working for the company for 32 years,and in my current role for 8 years.The company is closing at the end of February,but from December 31st some non essential staff will be leaving.In our 1-2-1 sessions with HR we were asked if we would be prepared to stay on after the 31st to complete a vital order until the end of Feb.In my 1-2-1 I declared I would be prepared to stay on in my role until the end of Feb.My notification date for redundancy came through that I was to leave the company on 31st Dec, but my role would continue to the end of Feb,and would be done by my line manager,who has very little,limited experience in my role.Surely this is wrong as my role is NOT acctually redundant until the end of Feb,and I myself (the person) is made redundant on the 31st Dec,so someone else is stepping into my shoes for the last 2 months????
Minnie Mouse - 26-Nov-18 @ 8:50 AM
Hi, I was recently made redundant. Saying that my shift of 1100-1900 was no longer required by the supplier. It's been two weeks and I know that the guy on the eailer shift has been working overtime to cover my shift, that was made redundant. Is there anything I can do?
Roth - 12-Nov-18 @ 10:15 AM
Good morning, could you please clarify if this is a legal redundancy. I have been working in my role for nearly 5 years and have just received notification of redundancy. I run a purchasing and production planning team (Purchasing and production planning manager) and the reason below. can they actually move part of my role in order to make me redundant: Quote: "having considered the duties and responsibilities of your role, the company believes that it is no longer has the requirement for an employee dedicated to carrying out these duties.The basis for this is now with a secure and more reliable supplier base the requirement for a Purchasing manager has been removed with the emphasis more on supplier monitoring which the 2 buyers we have are well capable of achieving. With more sub assembly builds coming through from suppliers(LessPo's to create) this will give the buyers time to carry out additional duties. Further administration duties have been picked up by the purchasing assistant. The planning element of the role has been picked up by the planning engineer who will be further supported by the manufacturing manager. With 2 Uk subsidiaries leaving the group, the MD will have more time to focus on any management or strategic oversight that the department might require". It then goes onto quote role at risk etc. FYI My job description states I oversea the planning role. We don't have a purchasing assistant, we have a business admin apprentice. It just seems they have moved the planning management part to someone else in order to say the procurement management part is not required.At my first consultation the discussion (although they already had a letter typed with my redundancy package on) I was just asked, where do you think we could fit you in the business!I though the employee was supposed to help! I then pointed out that I can see the latter and the decisions has clearly been made. Any help much appreciated, just to put my mind at rest. Thank you
MrC - 4-Nov-18 @ 8:40 AM
Hi my boss made me redundant 6 months ago, telling me that it was because he was closing the company. I have recently learnt that this is untrue and that he is still trading under the same company. Can I do anything? Thanks
Lollyplop - 24-Oct-18 @ 10:03 PM
file, that potentially is wrong and there also making me redundant from a role that did not exist. I have tried contacting the union but no answered the phone, I left messages, someone did ring me back, and said they were picking my case up you will be contacted shortly, no one has still contacted me and I have attended two meetings without no representation. I have a phone call with the HR manager Monday 20-8-18, I have to take the money as I need to move on from this business, as I would like to stay on the same pay level. I will also ask him if he is aware of the data breach, and the conflict of interest with the other employee, may now jeopardise the redundancy and leave me penniless as I will notbe receiving enough sick pay to pay the bills. If you can advise me on how to go forwards as, I appear to be alone on this one. Many thanks in advance.
Richard Slade - 19-Aug-18 @ 3:09 PM
I worked for acompany for 36 years.The owner retired and sold business to another person.I have worked continually for this newperson in same position and job description for the past 11 years.The owner has given all staff the statutory 3 months notice of potential redundancy.How many years am I entitledto in this situation.Also would I have been entitled to redundancy from previous employer or am I entitled to total redundancy payment for the maximum number of years to date?
Billyboy - 15-Aug-18 @ 6:30 PM
The company I work for (which had to bases, one both if the county and one south if the county) merged with another company last year (which has 1 base in the North of another county). They are now doing restructures. I also had a new boss once we merged that is based on the other companies office. I am the only member of the team that is being asked to relocate as the other teams members reside at other companies office. Despite my new boss knowing I suffer with anxiety when I travel and telling me prior to the merger that the need to travel is required but will be less frequent, she then turns around and says that they are relocating my role in the restructure. No other suitable with in my current location has been offered. I was given the option to travel and get my travel paid for two years or take redundancy which I have very sadly and begrudgingly had to do as the traveling time would total 3 hours a day nagging my working day at at least ten hours and this would make me ill. I have two questions; from what date should the notice period commence; from the date of the consultation meeting or the date when I said I have decided to take the redundancy? They are making me with the full 8 weeks (I have worked the for over 8 years) Secondly, I have always been paid full sick pay during my time working for the company whenever I've been if sick. Will I still get paid full sick pay during my notice period now I am taking redundancy??
Liz - 21-Jul-18 @ 4:49 AM
Deg - Your Question:
Hello I have worked for a company for just over 6 months and now been told im being made redundant straight after I needed one day off to care for my sick son. No warning and the notice was served verbally to me on the same day after them being mad at me. Even though I followed proper procedure for this issue. Is redundency being used as unfair dismissal and how do I go about resolving it. I have proof it was on the same day and even a message from the employer saying it was my fault. Cheers for any help you can provide

Our Response:
Have you actually been told you are being 'made redundant' or have you been dismissed? Redundancy is a very different thing as it is your job who is being made redundant not you. However, if you have been with the company for a short time (two years) you can only take your employer to a tribunal for unfair dismissal in certain cases, please see link here . Therefore, you may wish to give Acas a call. However, whether you have any rights to make a claim from your employer is unlikely.
RedundancyExpert - 13-Jul-18 @ 11:51 AM
Hello I have worked for a company for just over 6 months and now been told im being made redundant straight after i needed one day off to care for my sick son. No warning and the notice was served verbally to me on the same day after them being mad at me. Even though i followed proper procedure for this issue. Is redundency being used as unfair dismissal and how do i go about resolving it. I have proof it was on the same day and even a message from the employer saying it was my fault. Cheers for any help you can provide
Deg - 12-Jul-18 @ 4:42 PM
Can you advise me how I stand please? If I appeal redundancy and am successful but cannot face going back to my job, will I lose anyredundancy payment?
Hersheme - 6-Jul-18 @ 3:51 PM
@Steve - even if you would have known - it wouldn't mean you would have been given VR, so I don't think there is much you can do.
DavidB - 18-Jun-18 @ 11:34 AM
I have recently left my job of 20 years due to being unhappy with a role they put me in. Before I left I asked my boss there was any chance of voluntary redundancy and was told ‘NO’, however a month after leaving my whole department has been offered VR. They would have known about this when I asked before deciding to leave. Would I be entitled to any compensation ?
Steve - 16-Jun-18 @ 5:06 PM
GTIK - Your Question:
I have been in employment for 14 months and on Monday I was given advanced warning of risk of redundancy. I was told it was because the company needed to streamline. However they are still actively advertising for other positions within the company. My manager has already spoken to my staff and told them their jobs are safe the only person leaving is myself. My consultation period is still in progress and when I last spoke with him it was yet undetermined if I would be made redundant this is obviously not true. I strongly believe this is unfair dismissal and not redundancy but not sure how to prove this. None of the supporting managers or owners are speaking to me but I have no idea why , I feel that I am being treated unfairly as it feels personal rather than professional. What can I do?

Our Response:
If your job is being made redundant, but your employer is advertising for other positions then your employer should actively investigate the possibility of suitable alternative employment for you. Please see link here, which will explain more. It sounds as though you may wish to speak to your employer directly regarding this matter.
RedundancyExpert - 14-Jun-18 @ 11:28 AM
I have been in employment for 14 months and on Monday I was given advanced warning of risk of redundancy. I was told it was because the company needed to streamline. However they are still actively advertising for other positions within the company. My manager has already spoken to my staff and told them their jobs are safe the only person leaving is myself. My consultation period is still in progress and when I last spoke with him it was yet undetermined if I would be made redundant this is obviously not true. I strongly believe this is unfair dismissal and not redundancy but not sure how to prove this . None of the supporting managers or owners are speaking to me but I have no idea why , I feel that I am being treated unfairly as it feels personal rather than professional . What can I do?
GTIK - 13-Jun-18 @ 6:45 PM
Earlier this year I was in a pool for redundancy. There was a handful of alternative roles available, I applied and was offered a new role. It transpires that the manager has not been entirely honest with what the new role entails. He omitted that I would be required to work late at night sometimes, work on different teams etc... I feel he was dishonest with me to keep me within the business. Now I hate my job and am full of resentment. If I had been made aware of what this new role entailed, I would have accepted my redundancy. I have had virtually zero training for any new tasks that are now my responsibility either. The 13 week redundancy period ended mid-January. As I was misled, is there anything I can do?
Sleepflower - 11-Jun-18 @ 9:32 PM
@Teena6767 - it's fair if your employer decides they want to lose the jobs from your particular region. I hope you find another job soon.
AnnaM - 11-Jun-18 @ 11:36 AM
I am in a selection pool for redundancy with 3 other employees.my issue is there are 2 more employees that does the same job as those in the selection pool but are not being made redundant. The reason for redundancy is the lose of work which I understand but the work lose is across the region which has effected all of use not just the 4 in the pool. The job everyone can do which ever region we lose the employees. There is 2 positions for redundancy. Is this fair and legal.
Teena6767 - 9-Jun-18 @ 12:05 PM
I may be made redundant and offered a job at a lower position will my salarystay the same
Dom - 28-May-18 @ 6:26 PM
Hi there. I’m looking for some advice please. Having worked for my company for 14 years and in my current role for 10 years, with consistent good performance, I have been told that my role has become redundant due to a restructure. There are currently three roles in my team, which are filled with permanent members of staff but there are also 2 on maternity leave. I have had some issues in the recent past where my role is graded at one level but I can demonstrate that I am working at a higher level. I have been denied promotion despite doing a very similar role to another member of the team who is graded higher. The returning mat leaver is coming back into the team to take over my role. She is a grade higher and they have decided to restructure the team to only have roles at the higher grade so they are saying my role is redundant. However they have said they aren’t making me redundant and my job is safe until they can find a new role for me. However I have been asking for a new role for some time and nothing is available to match my skills and requirements. And there still isn’t. I don’t trust that there will be anything forthcoming as there are at least 2 people on mat leave that they need to consider ahead of me. As a consequence I feel I have been demoted in my current role - for personal as well as structural reasons - and I’m seeking advice as to what I can ask for. They haven’t offered me redundancy - saying they want to spare me the stress and will look for something internal. But I would like to know whether I have the right to ask for redundancy - or even demand - given that I am not being offered any choices at this time and I feel like I’m being managed out of the business. That they are making my role untenable and forcing me to leave. What are my rights and how should I build my case? Many thanks
Clouds - 26-May-18 @ 1:03 PM
Wonder if you advise, last week my manager advised that my job was under threat of redundancy due to a downturn in business and advised that I should seek employment else where.I have been with my current employer for 2yrs and have always exceed my appraisals.My manager has since resigned and the director's have came due to his departure and have advised me that my job was never under threat at all and they have no knowledge whatsoever why my ex manager has behaved in this manner.So as its stands I was coerced into handing my notice, leave my job that I love and start afresh with a new company.I believe I have grounds for my soon to be ex employer for breaching hr procedures and unfair treatment even though they didn't know my ex manager was responsible for the business in our depot.Please can some advise my next step and do I have any ground to hold my employer responsible for my unfair treatment???
Bigrobbo - 22-May-18 @ 8:55 PM
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