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Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

8. Redundancy, reorganization, and transfers of undertakings  

This chapter discusses issues concerning an employer facing hard times or stiff competition, which may need to sell or contract out part of its operation, dismiss some employees, or change the terms and conditions of work. It tackles these situations together both for the practical benefit of grouping issues that arise from similar factual settings and for the analytical coherence of dealing together with protections designed to balance worker interests in job security with the general economic interest in lean, efficient, and flexible enterprise. The statutory definition of ‘redundancy’ is examined and is contrasted with termination of employment, or change in terms of employment, for other economic reasons. The chapter then deals with statutory redundancy payments and collective consultation on collective dismissals (whether for redundancy or other reasons). The discussion then focuses on distinctions in how tribunals assess the fairness of redundancy dismissals as opposed to other dismissals caused by reorganization which are categorized as being for ‘some other substantial reason’. Finally, the chapter addresses the law governing the transfer of undertakings, or ‘TUPE’, covering the transfer to the new employer of individual and collective relationships, the protection of existing terms and conditions, and the legality of transfer-related dismissals and transfer-related changes to the employment contract.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

8. Redundancy, reorganization, and transfers of undertakings  

Ian Smith, Owen Warnock, and Gemma Mitchell

This chapter discusses issues which arise when an employer faces hard times or stiff competition. The employer may need to sell or contract out part of its operation, dismiss some employees, or change the terms and conditions of work. The statutory definition of ‘redundancy’ is examined and is contrasted with termination of employment, or change in terms of employment, for other economic reasons. The chapter then deals with statutory redundancy payments and collective consultation on collective dismissals (whether for redundancy or other reasons). The discussion then focuses on how tribunals assess the fairness of redundancy dismissals and on the different approach taken as to the fairness of dismissals caused by reorganization which are categorized as being for ‘some other substantial reason’. Finally, the chapter addresses ‘TUPE’, which is the law governing the transfer of undertakings and situation where a service provider loses or gains a contract. The issues relate to the transfer to the new employer of individual and collective relationships, the protection of existing terms and conditions, and the legality of transfer-related dismissals and transfer-related changes to the employment contract.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

17. Unfair Dismissal  

The statutory provisions relating to unfair dismissal are found in ss 94–107 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. This chapter looks at what amounts to a dismissal and the ways in which a dismissal may take place, covering expiry of a fixed-term contract, resignation and constructive dismissal, and frustration of the contract. It also discusses the categories of employees which are not protected by the unfair dismissal provisions of ERA; the termination of the contract; fair and unfair dismissal; fair reasons for dismissal and some other substantial reason; written reasons for dismissal; and remedies for unfair dismissal such as reinstatement, re-engagement, and compensation, as well as showing how such compensation is to be calculated.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law

5. Unfair dismissal—Reasonableness  

This chapter continues the discussion begun in Chapter 4 by considering the third of the three questions employment tribunals must address when faced with an unfair dismissal claim: Did the employer act reasonably in carrying out the dismissal? If the answer is ‘yes’, then the dismissal is fair, if it is ‘no’, then it is unfair and the issue of an appropriate remedy is considered by the tribunal. The chapter explores this concept of ‘reasonableness’ in detail. It explains how it has evolved over the decades and why its interpretation by the courts remains highly controversial. In particular, it focuses on how the courts have determined what does and what does not constitute a fair dismissal on grounds of misconduct, poor performance and ill health.