Disadvantaged during redundancy

According to an employment tribunal, a youth worker was disadvantaged in a redundancy interview but if the employer had made an adjustment such as ‘slotting’ the employee into an alternative role, this would have been unfair to other employees.

The employee was a youth worker, who experienced depression and arthritis and during the tribunal, the judge stated that slotting in [to a new role] would have alleviated the disadvantage to the youth worker but would have impacted on others in the redundancy process, saying that making an adjustment “is not a vehicle for giving any advantage over and above removing the particular disadvantage.”

The tribunal noted that the employee struggled with the redundancy process even during the application stage, and that his arthritic condition was a contributing factor in moderately severe depression. The employee also had a somatic syndrome, which indicated that his depression was partly brought on by his focus on physical pain. He argued that his employer should have “slotted” him into the role without an interview, but this was dismissed.

It should be noted that redundancy processes might require to be “adjusted where disabled employees are involved” but an “adjustment is not reasonable” if it eliminates the substantial disadvantage for the disabled employee while giving them an advantage over other employees in the process.

Should you have any questions at all on reasonable adjustments, contact 121 HR Solutions for advice on 0800 9995 121

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