Redundancy and Alternative Roles

At a recent case in the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) the question arose as to whether an employer could consider a potentially redundant employee for an alternative role fairly if one candidate for the role was aware of the full job description and the other was not?

In Somerset County Council v Chaloner the EAT decided no they could not.
The Respondent had suffered a downturn in work in 2010/2011 and as a result it was proposed that four of the senior management positions would be reduced to only two. One of the new positions was for a Business Development Manager and on considering the job description for this role the Claimant believed it to be comparable to her previous role and applied for it.
However upon further review of the financial situation of the company the position was worse than originally expected and the re-organisation was extended to include other management such as the Finance Officer. The former Finance Officer applied for the same role as the Claimant.
The job description had been amended to include additional financial responsibilities and the former Finance Officer was considered for the role. However the Respondent did not inform the Claimant of these changes who was then unsuccessful at the final hearing and was dismissed.
The EAT held that for the Respondent to introduce a competing candidate amend the job description and fail to inform the Claimant of both gave an unfair advantage to the Claimant’s competition at the interview. The Respondent was held not to have considered the Claimant for the role in a fair manner and the EAT agreed with the Employment Tribunal that the dismissal was unfair.
If your employer is currently undergoing a re-structure and your job is being considered for redundancy or you are looking for specialist unfair dismissal and redundancy solicitors in Leeds please contact the dedicated employment team at Michael Lewin Solicitors who will be happy to discuss your situation with you.
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