Redundancy - One to Watch Out For

If there is a reduction in hours of work does it amount to a redundancy? This was the burning question before the Employment Appeals Tribunal in the case of Packman t/a Packman Lucas Associates v Fauchon.

The Facts

The employer, Packman, sought to reduce the Claimant’s hours having suffered a downturn in business. This was also necessary due to its introduction of a new book keeping system which had led to a reduction in the Claimant’s hours of work.

As the Claimant refused to accept the change in hours, she was dismissed. The Claimant claimed unfair dismissal.

Whilst the Employment Tribunal had held that there was a redundancy situation and the dismissal was fair, the Claimant sought leave to appeal. She asserted that the Employment Appeals Tribunal had in the unreported case of Aylward v Glamorgan Holiday Home Ltd suggested that there must always be a reduction in the headcount of employees for redundancy to apply and as she was still required, albeit on shorter hours, there could be no redundancy situation.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal dismissed the appeal. It (quite rightly) concluded that the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Aylward had completely misunderstood the law!

What Does This Mean For You?

Whilst the Employment Appeals Tribunal makes it clear when a redundancy payment is due, it does not mean a redundancy payment is due where there is merely a need to reduce hours.