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Unfair Redundancy and What to do

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 3 Aug 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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[Add a Comment]
Cazza - Your Question:
I am currently an Operations and Staff Manager and my job has been put at risk. There is another role that is called an Operations Manager and the Job Desription is identical to my current role excluding the staff management part. Can they offer this role to another manager with a different job title (General Manager) make me redundant when I already have the name of the role in my job title?

Our Response:
Regardless of the role being similar to your current role, you might be asked to apply, which could help your employer decide who to select (if there are other suitable candidates).
RedundancyExpert - 4-Aug-17 @ 11:30 AM
I am currently an Operations and Staff Manager and my job has been put at risk. There is another role that is called an Operations Manager and the Job Desription is identical to my current role excluding the staff management part. Can they offer this role to another manager with a different job title (General Manager) make me redundant when I already have the name of the role in my job title?
Cazza - 3-Aug-17 @ 8:03 PM
I was employed for four and a half years with the same company and applied four times for a certain position. On the forth attempt I was successfull. I had to work a five week notice as they forgot to confirm with my department that I was moving to a new position. On my last Friday in my department , an hour before I was due to finish I was asked to go to and empty office where I received a call from the Operations manager who informed me that I cannot start on Monday as there was a problem with the new position I had been successful in. When I asked why she said I cannot tell you at this moment as it is top secret and there will be a meeting in two weeks where I will be informed of the reason. I then had to go back to my desk and inform the sixty colleagues that had dressed my desk to say goodbye and been out with me to celebrate my new job that I was not leaving . A week later on the Friday I was called again by the Operations manager to say that I can now come over to the new job. I spoke to my then manager and expressed my concerns about the security of my new position. My manager asked me to remain in the office whilst she went to speak to an HR representative who was in the office. She came back ten minutes later and I asked if moving to my new position would be OK. She smiled and said yes it's all good. When the Thursday came for the big meeting I was called in with others in my position to be told that the company are no longer going to operate with Assistant housing officers and that they will no longer exist. However they were to recreate several new positions as Housing officers. There were eight positions and eleven candidates (all of the candidates with the exception of myself and another had been working in the office for over a year) Applications were made and I needed 50% to pass and I got 49%. So myself (I was the newest member of the team) another candidate who had been in the job for a month before me and another who I was told did not fit in the office even though she had been there over a year did not make the grade and we were made redundant. Along with applying for the position we were told to apply for the position of Lettings officer also , which I did. I have not heard anything about that position or why I did not get it to this day. Towards the end of my notice period they created two more positions as Housing officers. I was not told about this or told to apply. They then changed the job to a temporary (6 months) position and I have since heard that two candidates from my original office have been successful in securing the job even though they were unsuccessful in securing the lesser position as an Assistant housing officer which I was successful in. I feel as I joined the company four and a half years ago to give myself and my family some security with a corporate company that my only crime was to apply for a job and get it leading to redundancy and no help given in trying to retain me. In the four and a half years
Ash - 25-Jul-17 @ 10:14 AM
Stuey - Your Question:
I was placed at risk of redundancy, but the consultation process was paused while I was seconded to similar position elsewhere in the company, which we knew was temporary. In that time, a role came up that was very similar to what I am doing, but someone else from outside the company was given the role, and I am now back "at risk" and have about a week left. Is this fair or unfair redundancy?

Our Response:
In the first instance you may wish to take this up with your employer directly. You should speak to your employer if you don’t think they’re following a fair redundancy process. Otherwise, in this instance and because your employer has recruited externally it would be advisable to speak to your union representative if you have one, and or ACAS.
RedundancyExpert - 11-Jul-17 @ 11:39 AM
I was placed at risk of redundancy, but the consultation process was paused while I was seconded to similar position elsewhere in the company, which we knew was temporary.In that time, a role came up that was very similar to what I am doing, but someone else from outside the company was given the role, and I am now back "at risk" and have about a week left. Is this fair or unfair redundancy?
Stuey - 10-Jul-17 @ 5:18 PM
Hi, I have been employed for +2 years at the company (doing a very specialise function for company and only staff person in company of 200, doing this job), and myjob was advertised a few months ago by a third party. I questioned my boss and was told, it's not my job. Albeit it matched my job description. Over coming months my job is slowly broken up by my boss and given to contractors working for the company. I complained about this to company using company grievance procedure. 4 weeks after grievance submitted (and still outstanding) I am told I am being made redundant, as my work is being outsourced to said contractor company. 10 weeks after grievance submitted my grievance is not upheld, so I appeal. 12 weeks after grievance submitted still nothing. I have asked 5 times for my roles and responsibilities throughout this time, in an attempt to highlight my job being broken up. But nothing onpassed. I've had 1 consultation meeting about redundancy so far and company has failed to on-pass info regarding roles and responsibilities, or the details on the option of TUPE. Could all this be regarded as unfair...? Do I have a statutory right to getting roles and responsibilities in writing..?
Juicer - 7-Jul-17 @ 8:33 PM
pippy - Your Question:
Hi can you appeal a redundancy. ive been a van driver (woman) for the same company for 22 years the only woman there. yet in the past two years 3 lots of redundancies have been given I have refused each time at a big loss in pay and redundancy.i was told this week I was chosen to go as they needed 9 volunteers and only got 6. I was chosen as one of the 3 the managment had to pick and I was devastated I still am. a freind of our management walked into our company last year and was given a job he is still there I feel I was chosen after 22yrs service over a man of 1 yrs service (a freind of my boss) I am so angry can I appeal this decision. do I have a right to stay over this man

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. However, it is not the person who is made redundant, but the job. If the person who is a friend of management and is in the same job, then you may have a case for unfair dismissal if an unfair selection process is deemed to have taken place. I can only suggest you give ACAS a call if you think your company has acted in a unfair and non-transparent way. Please also see Worksmart link here.
RedundancyExpert - 3-Jul-17 @ 12:28 PM
hi can you appeal a redundancy. ive been a van driver (woman) for the same company for 22 years the only woman there. yet in the past two years 3 lots of redundancies have been given i have refused each time at a big loss in pay and redundancy. i was told this week i was chosen to go as they needed 9 volunteers and only got 6. i was chosen as one of the 3 the managment had to pick and i was devastated i still am. a freind of our management walked into our company last year and was given a job he is still there i feel i was chosen after 22yrs service over a man of 1 yrs service (a freind of my boss) i am so angry can i appeal this decision. do i have a right to stay over this man
pippy - 3-Jul-17 @ 1:42 AM
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
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