MANNER IN WHICH REDUNDANCY SITUATION ARISES NOT RELEVANT
Wednesday 20th January 2021
In the case of Berkeley Catering Limited v Jackson, it was held by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that the manner in which a redundancy situation arises does not affect whether or not a redundancy situation actually exists.
The Claimant was the Managing Director of Berkeley Catering. The company’s owner named himself CEO which lead him to deliberately undermining the Claimant’s position as Managing Director as he took full control of all management decisions and operations. Subsequently, the Claimant was dismissed by reason of redundancy on the basis that the company’s requirements for the Claimant to continue to carry out work of that nature had diminished. Consequently, this lead to the Claimant claiming unfair dismissal.
The Employment Tribunal found there was no redundancy situation. However, this was soon overturned by the EAT which held that the company had made arrangements in such a way that the need for employees to carry out the type of work which was taken over by the CEO had diminished, thus creating a redundancy situation. It was also held that the motive and conduct of the company in undermining the Claimant’s position was not relevant to the existence of the redundancy and was only relevant in identifying what the reason was for the dismissal.
This case demonstrates that the Tribunal will not have regard to how a redundancy situation has arisen when considering whether or not a redundancy situation exists. Factors such as conduct and motive of an employer are not relevant when determining if a role is redundant. However, employers will still need to follow a fair and proper process in dismissing employees after their roles have been identified as redundant.