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Responsibilities taken away = Redundancy ?

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  • Responsibilities taken away = Redundancy ?

    Hi everyone,
    My wife has been a PA/ Office Manager for the pat 5 years for quite a big company listed in the US. Recently, her boss was asked to leave (the business might not replace him) and their company has now moved from their private office to a shared office space.
    She temporarily reports to a director who stated that he doesn’t need a personal assistant and she is not a priority in his mind for 2019.
    With the circumstances stated above, she is running out of things to do and exposing herself to redundancy. I’m just wondering, is there anything we should keep an eye on to make sure that she is not going to be unfairly dismissed?
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  • #2
    If the company was to decide to make your wife redundant then they will need to follow a fair process to ensure they are not subject to an unfair dismissal claim.

    Firstly, they should give sufficient advance warning of the impending redundancy situation and the fact that she will be affected. Your wife should receive a letter, confirmed in writing in the form of an ‘at risk’ letter. Then the company has to consider the pool from which the selection will be made which in your wife’s case may just be her or the company may need to consider if there are other staff who undertake a similar role to your wife, then they need to be added into the pool. If the pool ends up being more than just your wife, then a list of criteria should be drawn up to reflect the company’s business priorities against which to assess the affected staff.

    The next stage, even if the pool is just your wife, is for the company to have a meaningful and proper consultation by having a dialogue with her, with the objective of finding ways of avoiding the dismissal if at all possible; for example, job sharing or a reduction in hours. The company must also make genuine efforts to ascertain whether suitable alternative employment exists within its business that can be offered.

    Any notice to your wife should only be given once the consultation process has been completed. Before effecting any dismissal, it is important that in addition to the above process I have outlined the company sends a written statement to your wife setting out the reasons she has been selected for redundancy. Your wife should be invited to attend a meeting with the company, where she is entitled to be accompanied by a representative which is usually a work colleague or trade union representative. It is only after the meeting that she should be inform that her employment will be terminated on the grounds of redundancy. She should also be given the right to appeal the decision.

    I hope this information helps but also hope it is not needed.

    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.

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    • #3
      Thanks ULA, it s a very insightful post.


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