An employer making an employee redundant will not normally be acting reasonably unless it considers whether there is any alternative work that may be offered. In Aramark (UK) Ltd v Fernandes, the employee argued that the employer should also have considered placing him in a bank of casual workers after his redundancy had taken effect.
The employer maintained a list of workers who they would call upon to perform ad hoc assignments from time to time. They did so frequently with the result that those on the list, while not having the security of employment, had a reasonable expectation of future earnings. When Mr. Fernandes was placed at risk of redundancy, he asked to be placed on the list as that would help him offset his lost income. The employer refused and a Tribunal subsequently held that this rendered the dismissal unfair.
The EAT overturned this decision. In an unfair dismissal case, the question is whether the employer has acted reasonably in treating the reason for dismissal – redundancy in this case – as a sufficient reason for dismissing the employee. Placing Mr Fernandes in the bank of casual workers would not have altered the fact that he had been dismissed – it was not a way of avoiding dismissal as an offer of alternative work would have been. Therefore, it was not a relevant consideration in deciding whether or not redundancy was a sufficient reason for dismissal. Whether the employer had granted the employee’s request or not, he would have been dismissed all the same. Since this was the only ground on which the Tribunal upheld his claim, the EAT ruled that the dismissal was fair.
This article is written as a general guide and believed correct at the date of publication. If you need further or more specific information relating to your situation, please get in touch with us.
AUTHOR: Alison Gair
Thank you, Kelly, so much for your help which was always superb and always going the extra mile. I didn't expect it, but your friendly, caring and totally professional manner was 'the cherry on the cake for me' - in what has been such an unpleasant and lengthy experience.
My family has always used Clifton Ingram to deal with any legal issues and we have always been very happy with the service we received in the past. This time was no different and we will continue to use Clifton Ingram in the future.
I am very satisfied with every aspect of Clifton Ingram and have been using them for the past 15 years
Thanks to both, Alison and Kelly, for all your help throughout the process. The way you dealt with my case was just what I needed in times of stress. I will not hesitate to use you in future for any other matters and I will recommend your firm to anyone that needs it.
As always your service was exemplary. I have the confidence that you deal with matters as if they were your own interests
An excellent service which I have recommended to others