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Redundancy is a form of dismissal. If you are made redundant, you are dismissed because the work you did is no longer needed by your employer. There are several scenarios that can arise where you can legitimately be made redundant by your employer.
For in-depth information regarding the redundancy consultation process and what options you have if you are facing redundancy visit our guide to redundancy procedures.
Some employers will say they are making you redundant when in fact they are discriminating against you and you are being unfairly dismissed. For more information about unfair dismissals and dismissals involving discrimination read our page: ‘When is ‘Redundancy’ not redundancy?’
Typically when people think about redundancy, they think of situations where all or part of a business stops operating or where a business goes bust. If the business is failing, you might also expect that at some point there may be redundancies made by an employer in an effort to cut costs and turn the business around. Whilst these two scenarios are probably the most well known examples of redundancy, you can also legitimately be made redundant even if your employer is neither a failing company, nor about to close down.
Over time, many businesses will change the work they do and the way they work. When this happens, their requirements in terms of the skills of their employees may also change. If your employer is changing the type of work they do, or moving into a new line of business where they no longer require someone with your skills then you can be made redundant. You will still be considered as having been made redundant even if there is other work available for you to do. It is the fact that your employer no longer needs someone to do the work you were employed to do that makes you redundant, regardless of whether there is other work for you to do in the same business.
The introduction of technology into your workplace is another time where you might legitimately be made redundant, for example if a new system of working or new technology means that your employer no longer needs to have someone doing your job. The same is true in situations where your workplace has been reorganised by your employer to improve the efficiency of the business. For example, your employer could share out the work you were doing amongst other employees. If this means the job you were doing no longer exists then you can be made redundant.
Another situation where you can be made redundant might arise if your employer moves their business to another area, whether that is in the same country, or to another country. Some employees may have a mobility clause in their contract of employment, which may say you have to work anywhere your employer asks you to. However, even if your contract includes a mobility clause, it might no longer be possible for you to relocate to wherever your employer is currently based. If that is the case then your employer could still make you redundant.
If your employer’s business is taken over by another company or organisation it doesn’t automatically mean that you are going to be made redundant. Your employment will continue and you will keep the same terms and conditions of employment with your new employer. There are specific regulations that protect your employment when the company you work for is taken over; these are known as the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. You may also have heard them being referred to by the acronym TUPE. For more advice on TUPE matters, read our TUPE guide for employees.
You can also be made redundant if your employer was the sole owner of their business and they have died.
At Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors, our Employment Law team can provide you with expert redundancy legal advice if you are facing redundancy. We can also help if you are currently going through a redundancy consultation process with your employer or if you suspect you may have been unfairly dismissed by your employer under the guise of being made redundant.
We can offer help and support if you decide to take your employer to an employment tribunal to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal. For more advice or for a free 10 minute consultation with one of our employment lawyers call now on 0151 239 1000. Alternatively you can fill in an enquiry form here on our website and a member of staff will call you back.