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If you’ve been dismissed by reason of redundancy and your employer has then given someone else a job, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

This would be because the reason for your dismissal wasn’t redundancy, it was only labelled redundancy, so that your employer had an excuse to dismiss you.

The answer to whether a Tribunal will deem that you have been unfairly dismissed however, depends on a whole host of factors surrounding the redundancy. This is in part due to the legal definition of redundancy.

If carried out correctly, redundancy is one of the 5 fair reasons for dismissal. There are 3 situations which constitute a redundancy situation, in short these are:

  • The business closes;
  • A site of the business closes; or
  • There is a reduced need to carry out a particular kind of work.

The first two situations are usually straight forward as it tends to involve a number of employees being made redundant at the same time and there is no real dispute that there is a genuine redundancy situation.

The third situation is where disputes usually arise and where an employee will usually challenge whether the redundancy is genuine.

If you’ve been made redundant then soon after your boss has hired someone else to do the same job, it’s likely that you could argue your dismissal was unfair. You could argue that the employer has taken on new employees and therefore it appears there wasn’t a reduced need to carry out the kind of work you carried out.

However, it’s not always the case. The employer may have hired someone else in a different role. The employer may have employed someone else because the role now requires a change in duties and skills. If this is the case, then your previous employer may be able to argue that your role was redundant, and your dismissal was fair.

The employer may have also waited more than 3 months to employ the new person. At that point you may be out of time to bring a claim against your former employer.

Missirlis v Queen Mary University of London

Each redundancy case is fact specific to each individual claim. The case of Missirlis v Queen Mary University of London is a good example of this.

In this case, the employer took on even more staff than they had before the dismissal of one of their employees. However, because of the reduced requirement to carry out the work the dismissed employee had been carrying out in his role, the dismissal was deemed a redundancy situation by the Tribunal.

If your employer has taken on more staff, then it would seem to indicate your dismissal was unfair but this is not always the case. If you’re unsure you should seek legal advice, so you know your rights.

At Consilia Legal, we specialise in employment law and can help discuss your options if your employer has made you redundant and then hired someone else. Get in touch with us today – call 0113 322 9222 or email