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Unfair Redundancy and What to do

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 23 Oct 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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Hi, my employer is dissolving my team of 3 because they say the type of work we do is not needed anymore and that there isn’t enough work for us, they gave figures of 50% productivity over the past year. They are keeping the senior member of the team on and offering me and my friend 1 job opportunity between us in another department. They already know that I don’t have the skills for this job and that my friend does so he will very likely get the job. Also the reasons they gave don’t make sense as the jobs we were doing still need to be done and the figure of 50% productivity they told us is wrong as we went back checked our time sheets and average around 75% as a team. I feel like they are doing this whole process to get rid of only me. They are also only paying me the legal minimum. I’ve been there for over 2.5 years. Can I fight back or is there no point?
Bob - 23-Oct-17 @ 12:19 AM
Was made redundant with no notice never got paid out by employer even though worked for company for 24 years, took employer to employment tribunal won the case but no one can find the employer, Inland revenue cannot pay as hasn’t been made insolvent, what else Can I do?
Tee - 18-Oct-17 @ 9:02 PM
Hey I am being made redundant they gave me the oppurtunity to apply for new times which I did within the allotted time and have proof, they didn't get back to me with an interview or even an acknowledgement that I applied, therefor left in the dark about the whole process then only when I had a one to one consultation they read a script to me which stated I was taking voluntary redundancy as I hadn't applied for the new job roles , I told them this wasn't the case they said it could be they have just forgot which is very unprofessional and then they rang me once I told them they haven't offered me anything for an interview when I've been told the by other people the roles are gone. Is this a clear case for unfairity especially when I was a very good employee, and I also think they only offered me an interview to cover there a**
J - 17-Oct-17 @ 12:04 PM
Hello My company is making me and a bunch of others redundant as they are closing the office. They said it was due ti the office closing and my employment will terminate when it closes on the 2nd Nov. A few things 1 it's now closing on the 2nd Nov. I think they are keeping it to January 2 people who are in other roles have been asked to stay to next year 3 they are opening another office in Ireland and creating jobs but haven't consulted us on them. We would be suitable for them as it's the same line of work but we just have no communication despite asking. Do we have a claim for unfair dismissal?
Mcc - 11-Oct-17 @ 12:46 PM
I work for as an engineer, I am one of three people selected and we are being scored on which one will be made redundant. As far as I am aware scoring is on skills, flexibility, attitude and product knowledge.My company despite various requests at reviews, appraisals to update my training have failed to offer any form of training whence I lack product knowledge and skills... Can this be considered as fair scoring? Also they promote they send a qualified and trained engineer to deal with faults.. Any advice please regarding where I stand or advice who can help me Many thanks
Louise - 27-Sep-17 @ 11:21 AM
Hi there, My boss told me last week that his PAYE Tax and CIS Tax are far too high and he will be putting everyone to be self employed in a few weeks. I work in the office as a coordinating manager. Now I just been told by my colleague in the office which another manager that my managing director spoke to him this morning and he will make me redundant towards the end of the month, which i wasn't aware. Now I have been working for the firm since December last year and never had any disciplinary warnings. Any advice what to do?
Rye - 19-Sep-17 @ 5:56 PM
Ann - Your Question:
I was made redundant end of March 2017. Despite being underpaid by at least 10k p.a. This also came 2 weeks after I complained that nothing was being done about a grievance I had with HR. The HR had discussed my illness time of work for mental health with other staff members at the communal photocopier and denied it, despite the staff members being willing to come forward. I was told that my role was no longer needed as they were scaling back on designing new products. I explained that as my role involved safety of older products it would still be needed. The MD then told me that they would ask other members of staff to include the work I had been doing in theirs. I explained that this was not ethical or realistic but they made me redundant anyway (along with about 20 others). I found out this week that they have a consultant doing the job I was told wasn't needed anymore, which means they will most likely be paying double what they were paying me. My grievance was never dealt with, or the HR staff member disciplined. In fact, she was promoted. Do I have grounds to take them to court after 6 months?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, can not take your employer to court after six months.
RedundancyExpert - 14-Sep-17 @ 2:59 PM
I was made redundant end of March 2017.Despite being underpaid by at least 10k p.a. This also came 2 weeks after I complained that nothing was being done about a grievance I had with HR.The HR had discussed my illness time of work for mental health with other staff members at the communal photocopier and denied it, despite the staff members being willing to come forward. I was told that my role was no longer needed as they were scaling back on designing new products.I explained that as my role involved safety of older products it would still be needed.The MD then told me that they would ask other members of staff to include the work I had been doing in theirs.I explained that this was not ethical or realistic but they made me redundant anyway (along with about 20 others). I found out this week that they have a consultant doing the job I was told wasn't needed anymore, which means they will most likely be paying double what they were paying me.My grievance was never dealt with, or the HR staff member disciplined.In fact, she was promoted. Do I have grounds to take them to court after 6 months?
Ann - 14-Sep-17 @ 2:35 PM
Ann - Your Question:
I was made redundant end of March 2017. Despite being underpaid by at least 10k p.a. This also came 2 weeks after I complained that nothing was being done about a grievance I had with HR. The HR had discussed my illness time of work for mental health with other staff members at the communal photocopier and denied it, despite the staff members being willing to come forward. I was told that my role was no longer needed as they were scaling back on designing new products. I explained that as my role involved safety of older products it would still be needed. The MD then told me that they would ask other members of staff to include the work I had been doing in theirs. I explained that this was not ethical or realistic but they made me redundant anyway (along with about 20 others). I found out this week that they have a consultant doing the job I was told wasn't needed anymore, which means they will most likely be paying double what they were paying me. My grievance was never dealt with, or the HR staff member disciplined. In fact, she was promoted. Do I have grounds to take them to court after 6 months?

Our Response:
There are short, very strict time limits for making a claim to an employment tribunal. In most cases, you have three months less one day from the date of dismissal, but time limits can be different for some situations, please see CAB link here.
RedundancyExpert - 14-Sep-17 @ 12:45 PM
I was made redundant end of March 2017.Despite being underpaid by at least 10k p.a. This also came 2 weeks after I complained that nothing was being done about a grievance I had with HR.The HR had discussed my illness time of work for mental health with other staff members at the communal photocopier and denied it, despite the staff members being willing to come forward. I was told that my role was no longer needed as they were scaling back on designing new products.I explained that as my role involved safety of older products it would still be needed.The MD then told me that they would ask other members of staff to include the work I had been doing in theirs.I explained that this was not ethical or realistic but they made me redundant anyway (along with about 20 others). I found out this week that they have a consultant doing the job I was told wasn't needed anymore, which means they will most likely be paying double what they were paying me.My grievance was never dealt with, or the HR staff member disciplined.In fact, she was promoted. Do I have grounds to take them to court after 6 months?
Ann - 14-Sep-17 @ 9:37 AM
I was made redundant end of March 2017.Despite being underpaid by at least 10k p.a. This also came 2 weeks after I complained that nothing was being done about a grievance I had with HR.The HR had discussed my illness time of work for mental health with other staff members at the communal photocopier and denied it, despite the staff members being willing to come forward. I was told that my role was no longer needed as they were scaling back on designing new products.I explained that as my role involved safety of older products it would still be needed.The MD then told me that they would ask other members of staff to include the work I had been doing in theirs.I explained that this was not ethical or realistic but they made me redundant anyway (along with about 20 others). I found out this week that they have a consultant doing the job I was told wasn't needed anymore, which means they will most likely be paying double what they were paying me.My grievance was never dealt with, or the HR staff member disciplined.In fact, she was promoted. Do I have grounds to take them to court after 6 months?
Ann - 13-Sep-17 @ 7:40 PM
Hoolie - Your Question:
My friend is being made redundant along with another colleague who is also on maternity leave. Because they both left on mat leave the company outsourced their department and now have decided to keep it outsourced and let my friend and her colleague go. They have offered her the rest of her mat leave, her annual leave and £5k. Surely she could ask for more as her job exists and this is discrimination. Help please!

Our Response:
It will be fair and non-discriminatory to make a person redundant when they are on maternity leave, please see CAB link here .
RedundancyExpert - 12-Sep-17 @ 4:02 PM
My friend is being made redundant along with another colleague who is also on maternity leave. Because they both left on mat leave the company outsourced their department and now have decided to keep it outsourced and let my friend and her colleague go. They have offered her the rest of her mat leave, her annual leave and £5k. Surely she could ask for more as her job exists and this is discrimination. Help please!
Hoolie - 12-Sep-17 @ 1:01 PM
jo - Your Question:
We have recently tupe from one owner to another. The old owner closed the shop yet still paid us weekly as it was his choice. The new owner has been paying us for 6 weeks and now all 3 staff have been told we are at risk of redundancy due to them not knowing when we will reopen. The have also stated the shop will change from an off licence to a vape shop. We have been told to apply for 1 job 10 miles away for maternity cover and thats all they have. Not even 1 job each and nothing for me as the manager. we have stated that we can retrain and dont mind waiting. staff have been there 6 years plus. Can they make us redundant or is it unfair dismissal?

Our Response:
The new employer can’t make employees redundant just because they were transferred from another employer. However, the new employer can consult about redundancies before the transfer if the old employer agrees. If an employee is made redundant for an ‘economic, organisational or technical’ reason involving changes to the workforce, they may be entitled to a redundancy payment. You can see more via the gov.uk link here . You may also wish to give ACAS a call, as much depends upon the terms of the takeover regarding what your new employer can and cannot do.
RedundancyExpert - 12-Sep-17 @ 10:20 AM
Gauranga- Your Question:
I started work on 11 January 2016 and was given 'at risk' letter on 2nd February 2017. I had one month to challenge the decision but didn't do it. Me and my manager performs the same role except that she also line manages. She has been assimilated into a role that no longer include line management. I think I should have challenged that. My notice of redundancy dated 30 May 2017 says I've been retained to 28th of February 2018. She has been on pregnancy related sickness since mid April and I have essentially been doing her work. Maternity cover for her post got advertised and I applied and requested to be considered for redeployment. On 7th September 2017, I was informed that I will be redeployed into the post for maternity cover and her remaining sickness weeks. What options are available to me to challenge my 'at risk' as I honestly think her new post should have been available for both of us to apply for. I think it unfair that she was assimilated.

Our Response:
Your employer should use a fair and objective way of selecting you for redundancy. Commonly used methods are: last in, first out (employees with the shortest length of service are selected first) asking for volunteers (self-selection), disciplinary records and/or staff appraisal markings, skills, qualifications and experience. You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should answer your question further.
RedundancyExpert - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:49 PM
We have recently tupe from one owner to another. The old owner closed the shop yet still paid us weekly as it was his choice. The new owner has been paying us for 6 weeks and now all 3 staff have been told we are at risk of redundancy due to them not knowing when we will reopen. The have also stated the shop will change from an off licence to a vape shop. We have been told to apply for 1 job 10 miles away for maternity cover and thats all they have. Not even 1 job each and nothing for me as the manager. we have stated that we can retrain and dont mind waiting. staff have been there 6 years plus.Can they make us redundant or is it unfair dismissal?
jo - 10-Sep-17 @ 9:30 PM
I started work on 11 January 2016 and was given 'at risk' letter on 2nd February 2017. I had one month to challenge the decision but didn't do it. Me and my manager performs the same role except that she also line manages. She has been assimilated into a role that no longer include line management. I think I should have challenged that. My notice of redundancy dated 30 May 2017 says I've been retained to 28th of February 2018. She has been on pregnancy related sickness since mid April and I have essentially been doing her work. Maternity cover for her post got advertised and I applied and requested to be considered for redeployment. On 7th September 2017, I was informed that I will be redeployed into the post for maternity cover and her remaining sickness weeks. What options are available to me to challenge my 'at risk' as I honestly think her new post should have been available for both of us to apply for. I think it unfair that she was assimilated.
Gauranga - 10-Sep-17 @ 2:13 PM
I have just been advised that the role of 'Senior Admin' is being made redundant.I have not been doing the role for over 7 months when I moved to Health and Safety full time.I have asked for my contract to be changed on numerous occasions which has been ignored.I have already had my first consultation, can they make me redundant from a role I dispanded in Feb?
T - 7-Sep-17 @ 1:44 PM
Shelylou - Your Question:
I've been made redundant whilst on holiday.the manager has rang and told me. He's said it's the save money! Is this let's I've been here for 17 months now, I'm the kitchen manager and only 1 or two staff and the other staff member has a 0 hour contract also made redundant and I'm on a 40 hr week contract wotg a roll over contract. We're do I stand??

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can see everything you need to know via the gov.uk link here . If you have been employed less than two years, you do not have as many rights as someone who has been employed over two years. This includes being awarded statutory redundancy pay.
RedundancyExpert - 31-Aug-17 @ 11:33 AM
I've been made redundant whilst on holiday.. ..the manager has rang and told me. He's said it's the save money! Is this let's I've been here for 17 months now, I'm the kitchen manager and only 1 or two staff and the other staff member has a 0 hour contract also made redundant and I'm on a 40 hr week contract wotg a roll over contract. We're do I stand??
Shelylou - 29-Aug-17 @ 1:39 PM
In the year 2016 in March I know I had a mini stroke but the NHS report hospital said it was not a mini stroke but when I got the ambulance report all symptoms was like a mini stroke and three months later I got dismissed I worked for B&Q slough over 19 years and got the booting and today still think it unfair But I only had 3 months to take it to the courts but I think taking company's to tribunal should at least give you 6 months to combat what happen
Andy - 28-Aug-17 @ 11:24 PM
@Dunky - it's worth taking this up with your employer directly - sounds unfair if you have the same role. It means you are not being treated equally.
MarieB - 24-Aug-17 @ 2:21 PM
After consultation its been confirmed thay my existing role remains and is safe from redundancy. However my colleague who does the same role as me has been mapped into a new position, without any consideration given to me. I'm unsure at this stage if this new role is a change of grade but there is certainly material changes to the job description. Is this allowed or considered to be unfair? Thanks.
Dunky - 22-Aug-17 @ 10:08 AM
Luce - Your Question:
I was informed that I was at risk of redundancy and I was the only one. I work in compliance as part of a team of 2, with my manager. He is not at risk of redundancy. I was informed that it is due to a decline in business. The alternative employment offered is a role they have created especially with a new title, all things that I currently do minus a couple of more senior things and for 12k less. So I would actually have less work to do and more time to do it. They said that if I don't accept this job then they will hire externally for it. Whilst you don't need to have particular qualifications for this job, they had paid for me to become a professional member of the compliance association. They are now saying that they want to hire someone who isn't because it will be cheaper. Is this legal? I'm concerned that I'm the only redundancy and the role is clearly still there

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here which outlines if the process is fair. If you cannot find an answer, then in this case it would be worth giving ACAS a call and speaking to someone who can advise directly.
RedundancyExpert - 21-Aug-17 @ 2:23 PM
I was informed that I was at risk of redundancy and I was the only one. I work in compliance as part of a team of 2, with my manager. He is not at risk of redundancy. I was informed that it is due to a decline in business. The alternative employment offered is a role they have created especially with a new title, all things that I currently do minus a couple of more senior things and for 12k less. So I would actually have less work to do and more time to do it.They said that if I don't accept this job then they will hire externally for it. Whilst you don't need to have particular qualifications for this job, they had paid for me to become a professional member of the compliance association. They are now saying that they want to hire someone who isn't because it will be cheaper. Is this legal? I'm concerned that I'm the only redundancy and the role is clearly still there
Luce - 20-Aug-17 @ 7:08 PM
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
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