Redundancy

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If an employee has qualifying service for unfair dismissal, in order for the dismissal to be fair, it must be for a fair reason. One fair reason is redundancy, although for the dismissal to be fair the redundancy must be genuine and the employer must have carried out proper procedures. The statutory definition of redundancy for the purposes of whether the dismissal is fair or unfair is defined by the Employment Rights Act 1996, section 139. This states that an employee who is dismissed shall be taken to be dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to:

 

  1. the fact that his employer has ceased or intends to cease –
    1. to carry on business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by him; or
    2. to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or

b. the fact that the requirements of that business –

    1. for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or
    2. for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employer,

 

have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.

 

Procedurally, the employer must warn, adequately consult the employee and consider him or her for any suitable alternative employment. Additionally, the employer must consider an appropriate pool of employees from which a selection must be made and apply a fair and objective selection criteria. The employee must be fairly selected from the pool using the selection criteria.

 

If there is no genuine redundancy situation, proper procedures have not been carried out or the employee has not been fairly selected, the dismissal may be unfair.

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