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Redundancy – reasonableness is judged on whether dismissal could be avoided

In the recent case of Aramark (UK) Limited v Fernades, the EAT held that it was not  unreasonable for an employer to decide not to include the Claimant on a list of bank workers in a redundancy situation.

The Claimant was initially successful in their argument that they should have been included in the list at the ET.  However, the employer appealed on the basis that the bank of workers were not employees and there was no obligation to provide them with work. They were essentially people who the employer could call on to cover labour shortages. The Claimant’s redundancy would not have been avoided even if he were put on the list of bank workers.

EAT held that it was not  unreasonable for an employer to decide not to include the Claimant on a list of bank workers in a redundancy situation.

The EAT allowed the appeal and held that reasonable actions of the employer will be judged on whether the redundancy can be avoided. Placing the Claimant on the list of bank workers would have not prevented the redundancy. Consequently, the Respondent’s action was not unreasonable.

This case is a useful reminder that redundancy consultations and actions taken should be focused on preventing the redundancy.

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