Mixed redundancy messages: Ask the Expert

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A: Quite possibly, they can. The main legal recourse you could have is if you can prove unfair or wrongful dismissal. For example, if you were able to argue that your job wasn't really redundant (and they were using redundancy as a pretext for getting rid of you), or that you had been unfairly selected for redundancy or that the company had not followed a proper procedure in some way, you could take them to an employment tribunal.

A proper procedure includes, among other things, consulting the employee, giving adequate information and considering an employee's response. Unfortunately, because fewer than 20 of you are being made redundant, there is no obligation for collective consultation nor minimum time period for consultation. You just need to be given whatever notice is stipulated in your contract. For a more detailed explanation of the law try the following websites:

https://www.dti.gov.uk/er/individual/unfair-pl712.htm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/crime/law/unfairdismissal.shtml

https://www.acas.org.uk/faqs

From what you have said, you are not suggesting that you have been unfairly selected or that the redundancies are not real. Your main beef is that the company is 'messing you about.' You might be able to make a legal argument out of this by saying that your employer's behaviour was so unreasonable that it constituted a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence between you and them.

This is not an easy thing to prove especially since your employer would be able to argue that it was complying with its statutory duty to minimise redundancies through redeployment, even up to the last minute.

Redundancy situations can get quite convoluted, so you would need to go through matters in detail with an employment lawyer, before deciding whether you have a case to pursue.

From what you have told us, however, you may just be stuck with this situation.

Next week's question: I worked for a boss who was a vicious bully for over a year before quitting the firm. I wanted to leave earlier but was concerned how a very short tenure would look on my CV. I am quite traumatised by the

whole experience and need some advice on avoiding such

a situation in the future.

What would you advise? Send your answer to: expertadmin@efinancialcareers.com

Look out for the Experts' answer to this dilemma and readers' comments on Ask the Expert next week. If you would like to submit a question to our panel of experts,

ASK THE EXPERT.

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