Part-time and made redundant: ask the expert

Part-time and made redundant: ask the expert

As long as you have two years' continuous service (without which you would not be entitled to a redundancy payment) your redundancy payment for all your years' service will be calculated based on your part-time salary only.  This is because it is your part-time position which is being made redundant, and you are therefore being compensated for your current part-time position, not the full-time position you used to have.

Redundancy payment is calculated based on your age, length of service and salary.  Whilst your salary will be based on your part-time employment only, your length of service will be considered for both your part-time and your full-time positions.  In other words the longer you have worked (full-time and part-time), the higher your redundancy payment will be.

Laura Livingstone is an employment lawyer for Davenport Lyons in London.

Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this answer, WorkingMums cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.


 

Twitter
Have your say

Does this mean an employer could make a full-time worker into a part time for a couple of years and then make him redundant, thereby only needing to pay the lower rate, albeit for the longer total period?

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have just returned from maternity leave in June and have gone from full to part time. I am now at risk along with another girl who is full time. We are being told that one of the two positions must go - therefore will my full time service be taken into account?

Editor: I'm afraid our legal experts will need more information to be able to respond and you would need to contact them via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box so we have your email and can ask any supplementary questions they might need answered in order to properly advise you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I work part time - 10 hours per week - and my job has been taken over by another company, who do not wish to take me on. I have worked for over 5 years and have never been off sick. What am I entitled to receive from my employer by law?

Editor: If your post has been made redundant you are entitled to redundancy pay - see https://www.gov.uk/redundant-your-rights/redundancy-pay

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have worked for 10 years for the same organisation, full time. I have just recently (within 6 months) moved to 4 days. I am now being made redundant and have been told that my pay out will be based pro rata for the entire 10 years. However, they are basing everyone's salary on May 2012, a time at which I was working full time. Can they still calculate my payout at the reduced rate?

Editor: Our HR expert Sandra Beale says: "If everyone elses is based on May 2012 then hers should be too although I find it strange why the company would do that."

Anonymous | Report this comment

There was a change of contracts back in May 2012. Therefore everyone's redundancy is based on your salary at that time, that is what we are being told. I completely undertand the point made in the thread above about being made redundant from your current position. However, to base our redundancy on a figure from 12 months ago and then pro rata to me doesn't make sense. Is there anyone you can recommend I speak to?

Editor: You could try any of our lawyers - see http://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/q-and-a/meet-the-experts/, but they would charge or you could try your local Citizens Advice Bureau. What does your contract say about redundancy payment? According to our legal expert, redundancies are calculated with reference to the position at the time of redundancy and obviously subject to any rights within the contract of employment if the contract gives greater rights than the statutory entitlement.  

Anonymous | Report this comment

I recently returned after having a baby and am now part-time, working in Sales. Due to a re-structure, they are claiming that the sales positions need to be full-time only as they feel the follow up in the sales department requires a full time position (i.e. if a customer called on one of my days off, I would not be there to continue the service initiated and someone else would need to take over). Is this valid enough reason to make me redundant?

Editor: Could you send a longer explanation of your situation - for instance, how long you have been working part time and what kind of consultation you have had on the restructure - via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box and I can pass it to our legal experts.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Re my previous comment:
I recently returned after having a baby and am now part-time, working in Sales. Due to a re-structure, they are claiming that the sales positions need to be full-time only as they feel the follow up in the sales department requires a full time position (i.e. if a customer called on one of my days off, I would not be there to continue the service initiated and someone else would need to take over). Is this valid enough reason to make me redundant?

Editor: Could you send a longer explanation of your situation - for instance, how long you have been working part time and what kind of consultation you have had on the restructure - via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box and I can pass it to our legal experts.

Addition: I have worked for the company for almost 4 years and returned part time in April this year. I had a consultation a week ago. They didn't mention redundancy as such, but implied that the positions would only be part time. I felt this was 'bully boy' tactics to try and get me to panic and say 'i'll go full time then' - which I didn't.

Editor: Our HR expert Sandra Beale says - At the next consultation you need to mention that if they require cover full time then perhaps a jobshare could be considered. You could even put this in writing now. It could potentially be unfair if they make you redundant as there is a requirement for more hours to be worked rather than a drop off in hours required. If a jobshare is recruited from a redundancy pool then that makes one less redundancy.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have worked for my employers for 24 years and during the last 18 months had to reduce my hours due to my disability. However, the employer is making redundancies and I have asked them to consider letting me work full time for a period prior to the redundancy as a reasonable adjustment. I wish to take voluntary redundancy so will not be penalised by the employer by making this request. 

Editor: I am not sure what your question is. Are you asking whether your employer should grant this change and on what basis would you argue for it? Normally, adjustments are granted due to difficulties at work caused by a disability or health issue - see http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/disability/disability-in-employment/at-work-making-reasonable-adjustments/

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi. I have worked for my employer for 25 years; 6 years full time and 19 years part-time. I am still part-time. The company is going to end the final salary scheme and replace with a DC scheme. To calculate my final salary pension to date the company have pro-rated my length of service to 18 years 10 months (they have divided it by full time 37 hours). If my final salary was a full-time salary I could understand this pro-rated calculation, but because it is a part-time salary I think the length of service should be pro-rated against my final hours (30 hours per week) and not against full time hours (37)? Or should it be calculated on my 25 years service or do you think they are right?

Editor: Our HR expert says that you should take the matter up with the pension company not the employer to make sure you do not lose out.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Can you help me? I've been with my employer for just over 10 years doing a jobshare. In the summer my partner finished due to ill health. Since then my company have advertised for a new jobshare, but not been successful, there is no suitable alternative. They stated to me if I cannot fill the role with full time hours they will terminate my contract.
Could you please advise if they are allowed to do this? I have offered to look at a compromise of hours, but cannot do full time as I need to pick my daughter up. If I agree to this they want this to happen for a minimum period of 3 months, of which then they state I'm not in a redundancy situation and if they feel it's not working again they will just serve me my contractual notice.

Editor: Our HR expert Tara Daynes says:  She is certainly entitled to request a flexible working arrangement that may be some compromise, and also means they have to properly justify turning down the request and show that they have considered all possibilities, including being proactive in searching for a job share replacement. Otherwise it could possibly be a unilateral change to terms & conditions. It isn't a redundancy if the work still needs to be done, but I believe they should at least offer a settlement if they genuinely can't offer her part time hours any more - mainly because she may potentially have an indirect sex discrimination claim if they are imposing a condition (ie full time) that women would be less likely to be able to comply with (due to childcare), but there is no guarantee that she would win a tribunal case.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am now 73 and I have worked part time for 4 years.The business is now about to close down. Am I entitled to redundancy pay and if so how is it calculated?

Editor: You are still entitled to redundancy pay as a part timer - see https://www.gov.uk/part-time-worker-rights

Anonymous | Report this comment

I was recruited on a part-time basis just over a year ago. The opportunities in the team I'm responsible for have grown / my team are winning business and the company now either want me to go full-time, or are saying I need to resign..or they will make me redundant as the job is now full-time. They feel the COO should never have agreed to employee for this position part-time. The 3 days per week is proving a challenge (I'm always doing 4 days!). They are not open to exploring job share opportunities at all & dismiss it. I'd appreciate advice on where I stand on this and what approach I should take.

Editor: Our employment lawyer Tracey Guest has replied:

 

I understand that you were recruited on a part-time basis just over a year ago. Your employer now wants to change your role to full-time or wants you to resign because your job is now full-time. Your employer states that your part-time role is redundant.

Unless your employer has a contractual right to do this (which is unlikely), your employer cannot change your role from a part-time to a full-time role, without your agreement. If your employer attempts to change your terms and conditions of employment without your consent, you have a number of options. You could work under the new terms and conditions but make it clear that you do not agree to the change. You could then submit a claim for breach of contract. It is unlikely that you would be able to show any financial losses resulting from the breach of contract and this would mean that your only remedy for breach of contract would be a declaration that the variation was a breach of your contract of employment or an injunction stopping your employer from breaching your contract of employment. Your other option would be to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal but unfortunately you need two years’ continuous employment to submit this claim at an employment tribunal and therefore this avenue would not be available to you until you meet this requirement.

If your employer dismisses you for not agreeing to the change in your working hours, your remedy would be an unfair dismissal claim in the employment tribunal but unfortunately, again, you need two years’ continuity of employment for this claim. Your employer should however pay you your contractual notice entitlement and if it does not, you would have a wrongful dismissal claim. Your employer has also mentioned redundancy. However, a need to increase working hours is not a redundancy situation, although it is possible that your employer mistakenly believes that it is. In any event, you are not legally entitled to a redundancy payment until you have two years’ continuity of employment.

It is generally acknowledged that a requirement to work full-time rather than part-time could be capable of amounting to indirect sex discrimination, as more women than men have family responsibilities that make full-time work more difficult. However, the requirement will not be discriminatory if it is objectively justified by your employer. In your case, your employer may be able to justify a requirement for full-time, rather than part-time hours, on the basis that the business is growing and your team are winning business.  When considering changing your role from part-time to full-time role, your employer should be clear about the aim they are seeking to achieve, and consider whether there are any less discriminatory ways of achieving it. It could, for example, consider job-share or splitting a full-time role into two part-time roles as potential ways of seeking to avoid indirect discrimination against you.

I would advise you as a first step to submit a grievance stating that you do not agree to your employer changing your hours and that you consider this is discriminatory on the grounds of sex. Depending on how your employer handles your grievance, you should then consider submitting a sex discrimination claim. This must be submitted at the employment tribunal within three months of the discriminatory act, which in your case, would be i) the change to your terms and conditions of employment from part-time to full-time, if you remain an employee or ii) the date you are dismissed for not agreeing to go full-time.

Please contact Tracey Guest on 0161 975 3823 if you would like further advice in relation to this matter.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

My employer has explained that due to rapid increase in workload it has resulted in a considerable strain on staffing resources and workload. They are restructuring the team and are considering the creation of a full time position and should this happen it is unlikely that the business would be able to sustain the increase in salaries without effecting other roles. There is a strong possibility that my part time position (3days a week sales support) be made redundant and a full time position (renamed) created. I am also aware of a tele sales position has already been created and the new starter begins next week. It would appear my only option is to work full time or be made redundant. I have only been with the company permanent for 4 months. What if any are my options, please help? :(

Editor: Any business is entitled to carry out a review of its business requirements and posts can change.  If this is the case, this could amount to a genuine potential redundancy situation.  If the company has decided that your post has changed and, as a result of a restructuring exercise, your position no longer exists, you could properly be made redundant. Providing the company follows a fair consultation process with you and you are not unfairly targeted, this would amount to a fair dismissal.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I am being made redundant, my contract is for 32 hours however for the past 15 months I have been working 37 hours full time on a temp contract. How would my redundancy payment be worked out would it be on the parttime or fulltime hours?

Editor: You’ll normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you’re an employee and you’ve been working for your current employer for 2 years or more.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi. I have worked for my employer for 12 years; 6 years as self emplyed time and 6 years full -time. I am being made redundant. How would my redundancy payment be worked out would it be on the self-emploed and fulltime hours?

Editor: Redundancy pay only applies to employees, ie not to the self-employed so you would have to have been an employee, ie had your NI and tax paid by your employer for this period to count - see http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/are-you-a-worker-employee-or-self-employed to clarify your status. On how redundancy pay is calculate see https://www.gov.uk/redundant-your-rights/redundancy-pay

Anonymous | Report this comment

I'm a full time employee who has just been told he's being made redundant. I have a colleague who is part time doing the same role. Can the company ask them to increase her hours to cover any shortfall in cover. If so do I have a case for unfair dismissal and what are their rights?

Editor: see https://www.gov.uk/redundant-your-rights

Anonymous | Report this comment

Im on mat leave, have worked for 10yrs in the company. Went part time 3yrs ago. Due to restructure all the part timers have been made redundant. They claim to not even know we were part time when deciding who goes. Do I have a sex discrimination case?

Editor: Could you supply more information, eg the reason the company has given, via our Advice & Support Q & A page box and our legal team will get back to you.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I returned from maternity leave in January 2014 and it was agreed for me to go on flexible working/part time hours. I have now been put under 30 day consultation, the company say my post is no longer required as my manager can do the work by herself and 2 other members of the team can be trained up to help her with the workload. I have also been asked to train up member of staff on certain jobs i do eg reporting so they can take this over when i go. is this fair? surely if other people are going to be trained up to do my job it proves there is a need for the role. they have reduced the role from 3 full time members of staff to just 1 after i go. Me and my manager have been stuggling to keep on top of the workload since its been the two of us so to take away my role too. also i have had no contact from my HR department about other jobs does this all seem normal?

Editor: Our HR expert Tara Daynes says: Although it's impossible to say whether this is a genuine redundancy situation just based on your information, it certainly does suggest that the work still exists. However it could be that there is a diminished need for it - i.e. there is less work available. If so, it could be a genuine redundancy, in which case part of the consultation process should be looking at alternative work for you & other ways to avoid you losing your job. If the amount of work hasn't changed but they are just cramming it into fewer people hours, then you may have grounds to claim this is not a fair redundancy situation. The fact that other people would be trained to do the work, who obviously don't do it at the moment, also indicates it is not a fair situation - I would suggest that those people are therefore also at risk of redundancy, as they appear to have 3 of you who could do the work but only 1or 2  is needed. So you could argue that one or both of them could be laid off & you be trained to do their other work instead! Either way, they need to select 1 or 2 of you out of the 3, not just make you redundant & pass the work elsewhere. If so, I would recommend appealing against the decision.

 

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, I wonder if you can help. I have been working part-time on a temporary basis for my local mental health trust since February 2012. From my start date to the end of November 2013 I was technically employed by the temping agency who placed me, but since December 2013 I have been employed directly by the NHS, via their temporary staffing bank system. Since my start date my contract has been extended on a bi-monthly basis, and my role has remained the same throughout. I have been informed that my contract will now definitely come to an end at the end of June 2014 and that they are planning to recruit a full-time member of staff on a permanent contract to fulfil my role. I'm wondering what rights I have? I've been that replacing me with a full time member of staff to do my job is effectively unfair dismissal and that as I've essentially been working for the same employer for over two years I should be entitled to some form of compensation or redundancy payment. I wonder if you can advise me?

Editor: Anyone who’s worked continually for the same employer for 2 years or more has the same redundancy rights as a permanent employee - see https://www.gov.uk/fixed-term-contracts/employees-rights

Anonymous | Report this comment

Hi, we are being made redundant by the end of the year and I have been workinh for my company for the past 9years of which 6 years was full time and 3years part time because of an illness and now they are paying us only base on part time without considering the years we work full time which is unfair to me because a lot of us change to part time for health reason .Is there a way they they can change their mind and pay more pls.

Editor: I am afraid that if you changed from full-time work to part-time work and then you are made redundant shortly afterwards, your weekly pay will be calculated at the part-time rate. This is because the calculations are based on how much you are earning when you are made redundant. See this. It is argued that redundancy is compensation for the job you lost which is now part time.

Anonymous | Report this comment

I have been with my current employer for 10 years. I returned from maternity 8 years ago and now flexibly work 3 days a week. Due to the increase in work I have been asked if I want to go full time (which I don't) or take on a job share. I have been told that if the recruitment is unsuccessful for the 2 days then I go onto a risk register and if no suitable employment within the company is found for me am potentially redundant. Can they do this ?

Editor: Flexible work agreements constitute a permanent change to your terms and conditions and could only be altered with your consultation and agreement.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Is it possible to take a part redundancy
My company have opened a volunteer severance scheme and I would like to become a part time employee is it possible to have severance for part of my contract and remain in a part time version of my current role?

Editor: I wouldn't think so. A reduced role would be something you would have to negotiate with your employer, but if you took a reduced role your employer would not have to make you redundant.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Post a comment. For advice go to our Advice & Support page