Business Brief: Restructures and Redundancy

Last Updated Mar 5, 2010 2:52 PM EST

Nick Hine, partner at law firm Thomas Eggar, responds to your employment law questions:
There is a restructure going on in my organisation at present, where they are getting rid of the current structure by making all roles redundant. My bosses have created what they say is a new set of roles. One of these roles is effectively my old job, but a few days ago I was told my current position is under threat of redundancy. Is this correct? Surely can't be made redundent if my role is still there but just disguised as a new role.
-- Name witheld
Redundancy occurs where there is a reduction or complete cessation of the need for you to carry out work of a particular type and at a particular location.

This can occur where there are restructures of organisations which normally also involve a reduction in a number of roles and headcount and normally result in a new reporting line.

Even though the position that you are performing is still required by the organisation, because of the restructure and the reduction in headcount there could well be a redundancy situation.

Often, people are invited to apply back for their roles in the new structure and it is possible that because of the restructure certain roles may have been combined and therefore different skill sets may be required.

So even though the work is still required there can be a redundancy situation. That does'nt necessarily mean that you will be made redundant because a redundancy process involves consultation. Your employers are required to look at ways of avoiding redundancies and any suitable alternative employment that employees can be offered.

If your old role is still effectively there in the new structure then you should be offered it as a suitable alternative role. Always get advice to clarify the situation.