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The company I worked for in the hospitality sector was taken over and I worked for the new owners for 3 months until the premises closed for refurbishment. On the last day I was informed my position was no longer required - it was being made redundant and therefore I was too.

The question therefore is: is there a length of time the company has to wait before the position can be reappointed?

I would appreciate advice or clarification of the law. I live in Northern Ireland.

  • Leaving this as a comment (because I don't know NI law and thus really can't answer your question): In the US, there is no duration. The company could lie to you and say your position was being made redundant when really they're just flatly firing you. – panoptical Mar 23 '14 at 22:29
  • Don't know about Ireland, but in Australia you have to be employed for 6-12 months (depending on if you're working for a "large" employer or a "small" employer, respectively) before you have grounds for lodging an unfair dismissal/non-a-genuine-redundancy claim. You would have little recourse after only three months, unless you could prove discrimination/adverse action/other serious illegal conduct. Australia's employment laws are largely based off of the UK, so perhaps similar to NI. Probably best to ask a local employment lawyer. – aroth Mar 24 '14 at 1:46
  • IANAL but I'm pretty sure that in the UK you can only make a position redundant, not a person. This means that there is a length of time (I thought it was six months) that they have to leave the position vacant for, and can't rehire for the same role (including under a different name for the role). The reason I'm fairly sure is that I've read this in the last 2 weeks - but the reason I'm not posting it as an answer is because I can't find the place where I read it :( So take that with as much salt as you feel inclined. – starsplusplus Mar 24 '14 at 11:22
  • This is a question about the law but not necessarily asking for legal advice. Such things are on topic here. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 25 '14 at 15:06
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It will depend on exactly how long it was between making you redundant and hiring a new worker for exactly the same job.

From http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/your-rights-if-made-redundant

Normally your job must have disappeared for your employer to make you redundant. It is not redundancy if your employer immediately takes on a direct replacement for you but it will not matter if your employer is recruiting more workers for work of a different kind or in another location (unless you were required by contract to move to the new locations).

If you are sure this new employee is doing exactly the same job as you were, you should contact Northern Ireland's Labour Relation Agency.

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Unless otherwise 3 months work is Probational time served, so legally speaking they have all rights to do what they want.

Did you have any probation time to serve in your contract?

If not and the exact position and title was covered after you have left you may have the legal right to pursue further action. You can check with a legal aid officer and If you are part of a union you can let them know too.

  • Probation doesn't necessarily apply here. If the company was taken over by another, then it also acquired all the contracts, and service is considered continuous. A new probationary period doesn't start. – DJClayworth Mar 24 '14 at 3:08
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So NI comes under UK law, I found this, appears to be UK legal advice (but I am not a lawyer, even in nightmares, so I am passing this on without endorsement):

http://www.justanswer.com/uk-law/32uze-refilling-position-post-redundancy.html

Basically saying:

in a compulsory redundancy situation, the issue is whether at the time of the redundancy there was no longer a need for the role to be done. Things can change and, post redundancy there may then be a need for the role to be done hence advertising would be fair. An employer would have to demonstrate at tribunal that at the time of the actual redundancy that role was not required.

I would guess the closedown for refurb is also a key part, the new company may be claiming to just be buying the assets (property, fittings etc) and the old company is closing when the premises does (although they could argue that the role was not required during the refit time, if that was weeks/months it may add fuel to their fire).

This would allow them to hire new staff for their new company, but that's just my take on it. I think your length of service with the old company is critical as well, under 2 years and your rights are far more limited.

  • NI doesn't, technically, come under UK law. Scotland, Northern Ireland and England & Wales all have their own, semi-separate legal systems... laws can be enacted separately for each for each from Westminster. Then, separately, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales can all enact laws and then lastly EU law trumps the lot - unless it gets ignored :-). – Ben Mar 24 '14 at 13:02
  • Ok, my mistake. But coming to it as someone in Scotland, I'd assume it's going to be fairly close to NI law. – The Wandering Dev Manager Mar 24 '14 at 13:05

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