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Case studies - Redundancy

A Which? Legal Service member called our specialist employment lawyers about her selection for redundancy whilst she was on maternity leave. Her employer had gone through a reorganisation and had announced a number of the new alternative roles within business. However, despite having the qualifications and experience required for several of the new roles, her applications for an alternative position were unsuccessful, and she was made redundant.

Which? Legal Advice

Our specialist employment law solicitor advised the member that as she is on maternity leave she has a priority right to be offered any suitable available vacancy without having to go through the competitive interview process. As there was a suitable alternative role available and it had not been offered to the member, she had a strong argument that she had been automatically unfairly dismissed due to her maternity.

Due to the way the member had been treated she no longer wanted to work for the company. We therefore advised the member of her rights and assisted her with reaching an amicable settlement of her claims without the need to issue a claim in the employment tribunal. 

Legal points

Whilst women on maternity leave have additional rights when in a redundancy situation, there are many other circumstances where someone’s selection for redundancy may be unfair. For example, the selection is on the grounds of a protected characteristic (sex, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity or religion or belief), the selection criteria adopted is not objectively fair, or there was no meaningful consultation process. 

If you are going through a redundancy situation and have any queries or concerns about the process your employer is following you can call W?L and speak to our specialist Employment solicitors to discuss your rights and what action you could (or should) take.