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Hello, My employer stated recently they were looking at…

Hello, My employer stated recently they...
Hello,

My employer stated recently they were looking at making changes in the company to make the process more efficient and smoother from getting work in to out the door. ( it's a document scanning company). All employees were pulled up for a 1:1 on how they find work, what they do, what they don't like this was about a month ago.
A whole work meeting was called on Thursday just gone which it said our manager wanted to step down so they are bringing in changes to the job roles and all supervisors, myself included would have to reapply for our job but others could apply too. We were given no notice of the potential we could have our entire job changed. Four years I have been a project supervisor. A notice went up stating the new roles they were employing for including - project supervisor. I've had no written or verbal warnings in my time with the company. Surely I have rights and they cannot just throw this on us especially as its just supervisors that need to re apply for their jobs and not other less skilled workers

Any help is appreciated.
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
6/22/2014
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,955
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Will all employees that do your job at your level have to reapply?

Customer:

No, just the supervisors.

Customer:

Sorry, yes they will. There's currently two supervisors. Myself as project supervisor and my husband is technical support although they are not re hiring technical support they are changing it to SLA supervisor

Ben Jones :

So are the supervisors the only ones affected by these changes?

Customer:

Yes

Ben Jones :

Have you been told what the potential outcome of this may be - for example is it just a change to your jobs or is your actual job at risk?

Customer:

They said they would try and find something else within the firm such as a scanning operator which they know I would struggle with due to having a joint condition. As it involves moving of boxes which I cannot do unaided.

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

It appears that this is a potential redundancy situation, which is quite a common thing that can occur at any time in a business.


 


The term 'redundancy' is used to describe a situation in which an employer decides to reduce the number of its employees. There are various reasons as to why redundancies may be required, such as economic pressure, changes in the nature of products/services offered, internal reorganisation, workplace relocation, etc. The reason for the proposed redundancies will rarely be challenged and the employer will simply have to justify that the actual reason satisfied the statutory definition of a redundancy, which can be found in The Employment Rights Act 1996:



1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed


2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites


3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind (this is where many employees get confused as they believe a job has to actually disappear for them to be made redundant).



The third reason above creates the most challenges but also the one that is most commonly used. Examples of when there is a reduced requirement to do work of a particular kind are:



  • The same amount of work remains but fewer employees are needed to do it. This includes consolidating some of its jobs (e.g. spreading out certain jobs amongst existing employees).

  • There is less work of a particular kind and fewer employees are needed to do it (both the work and the headcount shrink)

  • There is less work of a particular kind, but the same number of employees are required overall.


 


So as long as the employer can show that their situation fell within one of the accepted reasons for declaring a redundancy, the test will be satisfied and the focus then shifts on the remainder of the redundancy procedure. This would include what consultation took place, whether any suitable alternative employment was offered to those at risk and the general fairness of the redundancy procedure applied by the employer.


 


So it is entirely possible for the employer to select one level of workers or a particular job and place them at risk of redundancy to streamline its process and make it more efficient. So in your case they have decided that the supervisors’ positions may need some re-jigging or to be changed to improve the business. You would have to be consulted over the changes, the employer should then offer you any suitable alternative employment that may be available for you to do instead but if in the end there are no such opportunities, this could end up in redundancy.

Customer:

So even though they are re advertising for the same job role I am doing already with very similar albeit vague job descriotion do they have to give me any notice before the change of the job roles?

Ben Jones :

the notice would be the consultation period they should hold with you before this happens. But in theory they can even ask you to re-apply for your own job without any changes to it and they can use that process to decide who stays and who goes, in the event they are intending to reduce the number of people doing this job

Customer:

OK , thank you very much for your help. One last thing I would like to know is if I am made redundant but re allocated a new role would I be entitled to any redundancy pay or would this be the case if I was to leave the company?

Ben Jones :

you only get redundancy if you are made redundant and leave the company - you cannot be made redundant and stay in the company, a redundancy is a dismissal. If you are re-allocated a new role which is a suitable alternative then you are not made redundant and remain in employment and do not get any redundancy, but if no such role exists or anything you have been offered is unsuitable, then you can ask for redundancy, terminate your employment and get redundancy

Customer:

Okay. Thank you for all your help. Much appreciated. Have a nice weekend

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,955
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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