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Do you interview first and then make redundancies?

Do you interview first and then make redundanci...

Hi everyone,

We have a situation where we are in the process of TUPE (the transfer is going ahead on the 22nd August. The new employers as part of their TUPE consultation have informed the employee representatives that redundancies have to be made. They have good economical reasons as there has been a considerbale down turn in business.
The affected departments are going through the consultation periods and will shortly be scored against a set criteria.
In our Admin department we have a situation where 3 jobs are secure and are not changing. 6 jobs are not secure and have been changed.
There are now 3 new positions and new job descriptions and the affected 6 people are elgible to apply for these positions even. They would not be able to apply for all 3 positions as some are specialist but everyone will be able to apply for at least one.
Do we:
1) Deal with the redundant positions first, eg score against criteria?
2) Or do we interview the affected employees for the new positions and whoever is not successful, serve them notice of redundancy?
Also, these new job descriptions contain most of the old positions duties with a few new ones thrown in so to speak. Does that mean that the old poisition is not redundant.
It is a complicated situation and we have take legal advice and have heard conflicting advice. It would be helpful to hear advice from anyone on the forum
Thank you
marie smith

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14th Aug 2007 13:26

Marie,

Assuming that the three "secure" jobs are different from the other six and none of the six could claim that they were unfairly selected for redundancy my advice is:-

You need to check how similar the duties of the three new jobs are to those of the six old posts. If any of the new posts (e.g. the ones you say are specialist) look very similar to an old post the old post is not redundant unless there was more than one in the old structure - in which case there is a reduction in need for that type of work. Where there has been a reduction in the need for that type of work the new post should only be available to the existing job holder/s in the first instance. If there hasn't been a reduction in that type of work the existing job holder should be treated like the first three "secure" post holders.

If the six old posts have all changed significantly the six employees who held those posts are redundant and should be given notice as any delay will simply lengthen the process.

You should then offer them all an opportunity to apply for any of the three new posts that may offer "suitable alternative employment" - and say that refusal to consider these opportunities would mean that they could lose their entitlement to redundancy pay.

If they are selected they will not be entitled to redundancy pay, irrespective of whether they accept the new job, as you have offered them a suitable alternative post. If they are not offered a suitable alternative role they will continue to be eligible for redundancy pay.

If none of them are suitable for the new posts all six existing employees would be redundant - but as the new jobs contain most of the old duties I would expect that you should be able to appoint the current staff to the three new jobs.

In these circumstances many employers would ask if any of the affected staff wanted to take redundancy - it is better to retain the staff who want to work for you than to select someone who would rather have left - but it could backfire if most / all of them or the better performers want to leave.

Unles their notice period is very short all six will transfer to the new employer on August 22nd - the fact that they are under notice of redundancy won't change that.

Good luck.

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