We provide Legal & HR advice to protect and support your business.

2 minutes reading time (353 words)

Employer's Duty to Consult - Redundancy

shutterstock 51015088

Putting an employee at risk of redundancy can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, and it can be tempting to get the whole process over with as quickly as possible. In the case of Thomas v BNP Paribas, the EAT emphasised that a “perfunctory and insensitive” approach to redundancy consultation can make a dismissal unfair.

Mr Thomas, who had worked for BNP Paribas for over 40 years and held a senior role, was placed at risk of redundancy. He was the only employee placed at risk because he was responsible for managing a client account that had been lost by the firm. He was told to stay away from the premises during consultation and not to contact other employees or customers. His computer system and email access were disabled, and he was told not to use his company mobile phone.

Shortly afterwards, as part of the consultation process, a letter was written to him addressed “Dear Paul” when his name was Peter (arguably a small slip, but something that the employment tribunal held against his employer at the hearing). When he was ultimately made redundant he brought a claim for unfair dismissal.

The employment tribunal heavily criticised his employer for conducting consultation in a “perfunctory and insensitive” manner, pinpointing the decision to place Mr Thomas on garden leave which isolated him from colleagues and arguably prevented him from taking a full and active part in consultation. Despite these failings, the employment tribunal found that the dismissal had been fair. The EAT disagreed with that decision, finding that the initial poor handling of the consultation suggested that the outcome was predetermined.

It is important to handle a redundancy process with thought and care from the outset, paying attention to the smallest of details (for example making sure that any template correspondence is correctly modified). Consultation must be genuine and meaningful. Any indication that an employer is simply ‘going through the motions’ of consultation while the outcome is predetermined may result in an unfair dismissal.

Contact KLG Today

For expert legal advice on employment rights, or other employment related issues, then contact our specialist employment lawyers today.

What problems might an employer face if relying on...
Direct Discrimination - Wedding Cake

Make an enquiry

Contact Kalra Legal Group

Please let us know your name.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Please write a subject for your message.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your message.

Call us 0800 8321554

What our clients say

“I am extremely grateful for the support I received from Anita during a very difficult time with a previous employer. It felt I was in a battle, but someone else was fighting that battle for me. Anita had my best interest at heart all the way, I really cannot praise her enough.”

R.B – Director at Software company

“I cannot thank you enough for all your efforts over the last 6 months working with our company to ensure we have taken all the necessary steps to protect our business and treat all our female staff equally.”

A.B - Managing Director of a Software Company

Contact us

KLG
Head Office
Suite 4, Ground Floor
Braywick House West, Windsor Road,
Maidenhead
Berkshire
SL6 1DN 

KLG
4th Floor
86-90 Paul Street
London
EC2A 4NE

Tel: 08008321554
Email: info@klglaw.co.uk

This website uses cookies to improve functionality and performance. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.