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I have been employed with the company for 4 1/2 years
Hello again, whether you have an unfair dismissal claim will depend on two factors - was there a genuine redundancy and was a fair procedure followed.
Redundancy is used to describe a situation in which an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees, either within the business as a whole, or within a particular site or job role. There are various reasons as to why redundancies may be required, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisations, relocation, etc. The reason for the proposed redundancies will rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that the actual reason conformed to the statutory definition of a redundancy.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 defines a redundancy situation as falling within one of the following circumstances:
Whilst the first two reasons are self-explanatory, it is the third reason that will be used most commonly and also the one that brings the most challenges.
Examples of when there is a diminishing responsibility to do work of a particular kind are:
In terms of the procedure, they need to consult with you and offer you any suitable alternative employment that may be available. They do not have to create a suitable job for you, they only have to offer you whatever is available at the time. If there is nothing suitable then you do not have to accept whatever is offered and can opt for redundancy. However, that will not make the dismissal unfair, only if there was a suitable alternative which was not offered to you will potentially make it unfair.