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Unfair Redundancy and What to do

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 16 Jan 2018 | 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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I took over my (very small) business in April 2007, inheriting 3 employees under TUPE. The previous owner gave me their start dates. One left about 8 years ago, but the other two are still with me. Last year, I recognised that, given the deteriorating trading conditions and certain cost increases that will kick in this year, the business would not be viable going forward. In November last year, I gave both employees 12 weeks' notice of closure of the business on 9th February. I have now advised them both of their Redundancy entitlements using the start dates given to me 11 years ago. One has accepted the calculation, but one is disputing the start date, which she says is actually over a year earlier than the one I have always had on record (10th June 2002), although she cannot produce any evidence other than her memory. She says she started in February 2001, although cannot put a date on it (obviously important given the 9th February cessation date!). Should I, in the absence of any tangible evidence, stick with the date I was given when I acquired the business or take her word for it that it should be February 2001? And if so, before or after the 9th? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Sally - 16-Jan-18 @ 1:25 PM
azzer - Your Question:
Hi I need a bit off help I was working for my last job for 11 months but was there fir a year before as got sold so stayed as was in the new contract they made ne redundent says there stoping all kitchen opertives and have niw been cooking again and have offerd my job to sone else after 3 weeks off been made redundent and the person who they offerd it to was a part tine helper cash in hand

Our Response:
Unfortunately, there is little you can do to claim unfair dismissal as you have not been in your job for two years.
RedundancyExpert - 15-Jan-18 @ 3:16 PM
Hi i need a bit off help i was working for my last job for 11 months but was there fir a year before as got sold so stayed as was in the new contract they made ne redundent says there stoping all kitchen opertives and have niw been cooking again and have offerd my job to sone else after 3 weeks off been made redundent and the person who they offerd it to was a part tine helper cash in hand
azzer - 13-Jan-18 @ 11:31 PM
I'm currently at risk of redundancy because of a restructure in my agency. I have been with the agency two years and was TUPED across on the account from another agency where I was there for a year, so I have 3 years service. During the past year I have had issues with a co-worker who being client sided has made my job near impossible. You could say they are narcissistic. They have orchestrated the client to request this change in structure. I am senior level, but they have decided to give the same job description a mid level title. They have argued its a more junior role which it is not. Do I have a case for bullying from the co worker and constructive dismissal? I wish to leave the role anyway as I do not want to keep working with the co worker. I was asked if I wanted to apply for the junior role which I said I did not down to the co worker.
d - 9-Jan-18 @ 11:17 PM
Courtney - Your Question:
My employer pulled our 10 customer service girls into a meeting to advise 4 of us will be made redundant due to cost cutting, we don't know at this stage who will be made redundant, how should the employer legally make redundant these 4 people? Should it be the last 4 people that entered the business or who they think are better suited to stay on board?

Our Response:
Your employer has to follow a fair redundancy process if you’ll have worked for them for at least two years by the time your job ends, please see link here .
RedundancyExpert - 8-Jan-18 @ 2:58 PM
Lee - Your Question:
I was informed on Wednesday 3rd Jan 2018 (indirectly) via my shift manager that myself and every other staff member at our Petrol Station was to be made redundant by Friday 5th Jan 2018!! 2 day’s notice!? I have been working there for 2years & 1 month. My shift manager was also told she’d be made redundant.None of us (7 staff) have had any form of contact from the business owner & nothing has been mentioned with regards to redundancy pay.Within 2 days notice I have no job & the prospect of no redundancy pay. I have since learned that our business owner/manager was imprisoned for fraud previously in 2010. I’m very concerned, what should I do?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Much depends upon why you were made redundant as you do not say what the reasons for the proposed redundancies are. You can see whether your employer is conducting a fair process via the ACAS link here.
RedundancyExpert - 8-Jan-18 @ 12:33 PM
I was informed on Wednesday 3rd Jan 2018 (indirectly) via my shift manager that myself and every other staff member at our Petrol Station was to be made redundant by Friday 5th Jan 2018!! 2 day’s notice!? I have been working there for 2years & 1 month. My shift manager was also told she’d be made redundant.. None of us (7 staff) have had any form of contact from the business owner & nothing has been mentioned with regards to redundancy pay. Within 2 days notice I have no job & the prospect of no redundancy pay. I have since learned that our business owner/manager was imprisoned for fraud previously in 2010. I’m very concerned, what should I do?
Lee - 6-Jan-18 @ 4:01 PM
My employer pulled our 10 customer service girls into a meeting to advise 4 of us will be made redundant due to cost cutting, we don't know at this stage who will be made redundant, how should the employer legally make redundant these 4 people? Should it be the last 4 people that entered the business or who they think are better suited to stay on board?
Courtney - 6-Jan-18 @ 2:33 AM
I fell and broke my wrist on 24th Nov . Went to A&E and was put in a splint . Had to see a consultant on 28th Nov he told me I cold not work and gave me a note for 4 weeks to start. This I sent to my works . Today I have heard that one of the managers has been discussing getting rid of me as others have covered my job whilst I've been off. This manager has seemed to have it in for me for a while but no idea why as I help him a lot . He has also been very rude with comments to me in front of people and on the phone about my age as I'm 62 it's not even funny that he does this given he's only 6 months younger than myself . He discusses members of staff to other staff and doesn't seem to understand that he should not do this. Whilst my job is being covered whilst I'm off its only covered for a hr or so a day and also work is quiet at presentso it's easy for someone to do this . I have a appointment 9th Jan with consultant for him to xray and if ok will remove my cast and sign me off sick so I can go back to work. Obviouslybeing at home has made me very depressed and bired hut given the pain I've been in I was not allowed to work . I hear it's more or less been told by this said manager that I fell on purpose to get time off work . When I go back I shall be recording his comments to me and his attitude as I'm no longer going to put up with his bullying to then be made redundant and him let others do my job . So this means my job would still exist just that they want to save money .
Sandy - 22-Dec-17 @ 9:21 PM
I fell and broke my wrist on 24th Nov . Went to A&E and was put in a splint . Had to see a consultant on 28th Nov he told me I cold not work and gave me a note for 4 weeks to start. This I sent to my works . Today I have heard that one of the managers has been discussing getting rid of me as others have covered my job whilst I've been off. This manager has seemed to have it in for me for a while but no idea why as I help him a lot . He has also been very rude with comments to me in front of people and on the phone about my age as I'm 62 it's not even funny that he does this given he's only 6 months younger than myself . He discusses members of staff to other staff and doesn't seem to understand that he should not do this. Whilst my job is being covered whilst I'm off its only covered for a hr or so a day and also work is quiet at presentso it's easy for someone to do this . I have a appointment 9th Jan with consultant for him to xray and if ok will remove my cast and sign me off sick so I can go back to work. Obviouslybeing at home has made me very depressed and bired hut given the pain I've been in I was not allowed to work . I hear it's more or less been told by this said manager that I fell on purpose to get time off work . When I go back I shall be recording his comments to me and his attitude as I'm no longer going to put up with his bullying to then be made redundant and him let others do my job . So this means my job would still exist just that they want to save money .
Sandy - 22-Dec-17 @ 9:19 PM
Liz - Your Question:
My position was made redundant but when I called into the office 3 days later there was a girl doing my job! Also I was given 3 weeks redundancy notice 5 weeks ago and still have not received my p45 is this legal?

Our Response:
You can check if your redundancy is fair via the gov.uk link here, which should help answer your question.
RedundancyExpert - 21-Dec-17 @ 12:41 PM
My position was made redundant but when I called into the office 3 days later there was a girl doing my job!Also I was given 3 weeks redundancy notice 5 weeks ago and still have not received my p45 is this legal?
Liz - 20-Dec-17 @ 7:22 PM
Mrs Sultan - Your Question:
My husband has been told that’s his management role is going to be made redundant. His employer told him that his main reason for this was that he no longer wants to pay for his national insurance. The company that my husband works for uses many self employed workers, so the alternative my husband has been offered is that he works in a different role on a self employed basis for less pay. If we can obtain this in writing from my husband’s employer, do we have legal grounds to claim unfair dismissal based on the employer’s wish to not pay national insurance?

Our Response:
Your husband may wish to contact ACAS with regards to this matter. If the company cannot afford to keep employees on, then it would have a concrete excuse to make redundancies across the company. His employer has to follow a fair redundancy process. However, if your husband feel he is being singled out, please see CAB link here for more information and his options if he feels he is being treated unfairly.
RedundancyExpert - 19-Dec-17 @ 10:23 AM
My husband has been told that’s his management role is going to be made redundant. His employer told him that his main reason for this was that he no longer wants to pay for his national insurance. The company that my husband works for uses many self employed workers, so the alternative my husband has been offered is that he works in a different role on a self employed basis for less pay. If we can obtain this in writing from my husband’s employer, do we have legal grounds to claim unfair dismissal based on the employer’s wish to not pay national insurance?
Mrs Sultan - 18-Dec-17 @ 1:48 PM
@Jason - unfortunately, a contract is a contract. Your employer can pick and choose who they want on their books as a permanent employee.
Matts - 30-Nov-17 @ 1:58 PM
I have worked for an organisation for almost 3 years on a succession of temporary contracts. There are core staff and seasonal contracts in the department as well as myself who has been on a string of fixed term contracts. The seasonal contracts finished and then my fixed term runs until the end of the year. Some of the seasonal workers have since returned on fixed term contracts expiring when mine does. These returnees are now getting trained on other things that core staff do whilst I remain stuck in the same role despite 2 years of asking for training. It is now looking likely that I will loose my job by not being offeed another contract whilst the others due to being selected for training will be needed and therefore kept on. Budgetry cuts are blamed. There has been no fair opportunities to do this training, it has simply been allocated to chosen people. I feel like I am being strategically made redundant with no explanation as to why I wasn’t chosen. Seems a very unprofessional way of working I feel very angry and wondered what the viewpoint is on this. Thanks.
Jason - 29-Nov-17 @ 10:21 PM
Lindash - Your Question:
I was made redundant this week. I had only returned to work 3 weeks ago after a year long maternity leave. I was the only one in a team of two given redundancy with the reason being that budgets had been cut whilst I was off. It was clear during the conversation that this decision had made whilst I was in mat leave. I was also using the company's gradual return to work scheme whereby I work 80% (3 days) of my contracted hours (4 days) and this had been permitted 6 weeks prior to my return. I also had two keeping in touch days and yet non of this was mentioned to me. I'm so confused about my rights. I have a lawyer to look over my settlement but they've yet to get in touch with me to discuss. Any advice would be appreciated.

Our Response:
The CAB link here may help further answer your question. It's difficult to comment with so little information. ACAS may also be able to help if you give them a call.
RedundancyExpert - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:37 PM
I was made redundant this week. I had only returned to work 3 weeks ago after a year long maternity leave. I was the only one in a team of two given redundancy with the reason being that budgets had been cut whilst I was off. It was clear during the conversation that this decision had made whilst I was in mat leave. I was also using the company's gradual return to work scheme whereby I work 80% (3 days) of my contracted hours (4 days) and this had been permitted 6 weeks prior to my return. I also had two keeping in touch days and yet non of this was mentioned to me. I'm so confused about my rights. I have a lawyer to look over my settlement but they've yet to get in touch with me to discuss. Any advice would be appreciated.
Lindash - 17-Nov-17 @ 3:01 PM
taffyduck - Your Question:
I was made redundant literally overnight, with no prior warning, on the basis of reorganisation. I was high up in the organisation with significant responsibilities and a key role. I was asked to leave one morning and told I didn't have to return. Within 4 weeks many of my functions had been reassigned to my junior colleagues who I previously managed and were not involved in these functions previously. Therefore, the majority of my role continues, just spread amongst half a dozen people. I have previous HR experience from running my own business and this feels more like constructive dismissal, using the excuse of redundancy to short cut what would otherwise have had to be a managed procedure?

Our Response:
You don't say how long you have been at the company and/or if other colleagues have been made redundant also. As a rule, employers should always consult with employees before making any redundancies giving them information on: why the redundancies are necessary and if there are any alternatives to making people redundant. Consultation can either be individual or collective, individual consultation means the employer will speak to each person directly. You can see more via the ACAS link here . In this case, you may wish to give ACAS or your union rep (if you have one) a call.
RedundancyExpert - 14-Nov-17 @ 10:38 AM
Hi there, My role has become redundant due to the fact that one of our directors has assumed responsibility for the role that I was hired to perform. He has verbally confirmed the above statement to be true. I have been working for the company for 5+ years. There isn't an equivalent role for me within the business today and despite trying to secure a global role a director in our head office in Canada has advised he want's that position to be filled locally. We do not have a redundancy policy as we're a growing business and for people to find themselves in this position is highly unlikely. I'd like to understand my options if you'd be so kind, I have discussed the issue with HR but they have suggested I'll either get statutory redundancy which they're saying is limited to 3-400 a week when I earn considerably more or alternatively that they pay me for three extra months after I leave. Thanks in advance.
Prawn81 - 14-Nov-17 @ 9:35 AM
I was made redundant literally overnight, with no prior warning, on the basis of reorganisation. I was high up in the organisation with significant responsibilities and a key role. I was asked to leave one morning and told I didn't have to return. Within 4 weeks many of my functions had been reassigned to my junior colleagues who I previously managed and were not involved in these functions previously.Therefore, the majority of my role continues, just spread amongst half a dozen people.I have previous HR experience from running my own business and this feels more like constructive dismissal, using the excuse of redundancy to short cut what would otherwise have had to be a managed procedure?
taffyduck - 13-Nov-17 @ 4:43 PM
Gavo - Your Question:
I recently started working for a large architecture firm. After being there 5 weeks I was told that the "big project" they took me on to handle may now not be going ahead, so my job is now at risk.I'm now feeling very effed over and can't see how this is legally right. I could now be unnecessarily unemployed as well has having something that looks suspect on my CV. (2 Month stints don't look good)The stress this has caused is also massive and I want to know how I can defend myself or at least be compensated for their resourcing errors.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, there is little you can do in these circumstances. You cannot claim unfair dismissal until you have been employed by your employer for over two years. Also, you would have to read your contract to see what it says about whether you are on a probationary period, which your employer can use if it hasn't got the workload to keep you on.
RedundancyExpert - 9-Nov-17 @ 3:55 PM
Hi im on 4th case managment soon and since the start theyve produced no documents At the first hearing they changed legal name in may 17 but in october before last hearing i discovered they changed providors in feb 17 during my appeal for grievance and the name they changed had been swapped before the et3 and didnt tell me or my rep at appeal iv informed judge and solicitor said they was going to say at the end of hearing can they do this and not be struck out .We debated over company induction bein part of service but they said its not which left me 2 days short also i constructivley resigned as they failed to give me ssp1 form for 3 month after not telling me for a month it had ended and all this was during the week they transferred does it sound dodgy ta
Leigh6873 - 9-Nov-17 @ 11:55 AM
I recently started working for a large architecture firm. After being there 5 weeks I was told that the "big project" they took me on to handle may now not be going ahead, so my job is now at risk. I'm now feeling very effed over and can't see how this is legally right. I could now be unnecessarily unemployed as well has having something that looks suspect on my CV. (2 Month stints don't look good) The stress this has caused is also massive and I want to know how I can defend myself or at least be compensated for their resourcing errors.
Gavo - 7-Nov-17 @ 5:43 PM
Dee - Your Question:
I have been made redundant and am nearly finished my months notice, I was contract coordinator there was only me and the manager based on-site for a recruitment company. I have been with them for 5 and a half year. Less than one week after my redundancy notice started my manager informed the company she was leaving. They have since brought in another coordinator from a different area and made her manager, I was never asked if I wanted to apply for the role which I find really unfair as I always covered for the manager when she was off sick which was often despite never being paid to cover her duties. Is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
In this case, I would give ACAS a call to see whether you have any rights for recourse to complain. Your employer 'might' offer you ‘suitable alternative employment’ within your organisation or an associated company. Whether a job is suitable depends on: how similar the work is to your current job, the terms of the job being offered, your skills, abilities and circumstances in relation to the job and the pay (including benefits), status, hours and location. Your redundancy could be an unfair dismissal if your employer has suitable alternative employment and they don’t offer it to you, please see link here .
RedundancyExpert - 7-Nov-17 @ 2:21 PM
Kez62 - Your Question:
I have worked in an estate agents for 5.5 years made redundant last month reason I was given is that I was the only full time member of staff and they could not afford to keep me.There are 2 part time workers who started after me. One works 1 and a half days a week but I have now found out he is spreading these hours over the week to do my job as it still exists. I was not offered a part time position have I got grounds for unfair dismissal thank you

Our Response:
Please see the Citizens Advice link here. If you feel your employer has not followed the correct procedure, then you may have a claim. If you feel you do, then you may wish to give ACAS a call in order to explore your options.
RedundancyExpert - 7-Nov-17 @ 11:51 AM
I have worked in an estate agents for 5.5 years made redundant last month reason i was given is that i was the only full time member of staff and they could not afford to keep me.There are 2 part time workers who started after me. One works 1 and a half days a week but i have now found out he is spreading these hours over the week to do my job as it still exists. I was not offered a part time position have i got grounds for unfair dismissal thank you
Kez62 - 6-Nov-17 @ 3:46 PM
I have been made redundant and am nearly finished my months notice, I was contract coordinator there was only me and the manager based on-site for a recruitment company.I have been with them for 5 and a half year.Less than one week after my redundancy notice started my manager informed the company she was leaving.They have since brought in another coordinator from a different area and made her manager, I was never asked if I wanted to apply for the role which I find really unfair as I always covered for the manager when she was off sick which was often despite never being paid to cover her duties. Is there anything I can do?
Dee - 4-Nov-17 @ 11:23 AM
Speight08 - Your Question:
Hi, I was made redundant 5 weeks ago after working for this company for 5 months. I believe because I voiced my opinion on a few things to office manager, and also lackOf training that I was told I would be receiving and also working under the circumstances of being bullied by a supervisor staff for bringing this to the managers attention I was totally ignored by this member of staff, and also orher members of staff talking about me. I gave now found out this company has taken a person on in my place and want to no what I can do about it Thanks

Our Response:
Unless you have been with the company for over two years, you have little right to take your employer to an employment tribunal as way of recourse. When any employer begins a job, they are put on a probationary period which can be from three - six months. You can see more via the link here, which should explain all you need to know about what a probationary period entails. You can see more about dismissal via the link here.
RedundancyExpert - 30-Oct-17 @ 9:42 AM
Hi, I was made redundant 5 weeks ago after working for this companyfor 5 months. I believe because I voiced my opinion on a few things to office manager, and also lack Of training that I was told I would be receiving and also working under the circumstances of being bullied by a supervisor staff for bringing this to the managers attention I was totally ignored by this member of staff, and also orher members of staff talking about me . I gave now found out this company has taken a person on in my place and want to no what I can do about it Thanks
Speight08 - 29-Oct-17 @ 1:41 AM
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