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Smith & Wood's Employment Law

Smith & Wood's Employment Law (15th edn)

Ian Smith, Aaron Baker, and Owen Warnock
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date: 03 October 2022

p. 5698. Redundancy, reorganization, and transfers of undertakingslocked

p. 5698. Redundancy, reorganization, and transfers of undertakingslocked

  • Ian Smith, Ian Smithof Gray’s Inn, Barrister Emeritus Professor of Employment Law at the University of East Anglia General editor of Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law
  • Aaron BakerAaron BakerLate Associate Professor (Reader) in Law at Durham University
  •  and Owen WarnockOwen WarnockFormer Partner, Eversheds Sutherland, Solicitors Emeritus Professor of Employment Law, University of East Anglia An editor of Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law


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.

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