REDUNDANCY - 19.11.2020

Casual work for redundant staff?

Employees who are selected for redundancy must be offered any suitable alternative employment that’s available in your business. Does this include casual work which you have too?

Employer’s duty. Where an employee is being made redundant you are legally obliged to identify and offer them any suitable alternative employment that’s available. But what’s the position with regards to any casual work that you have available now or may do in the future - must this be offered to redundant employees too?

Banking on it. For example, rather than use agencies, some employers have their own bank staff whom they offer casual work to as and when the need arises. This might be for specific projects, to cover holiday or unexpected sickness absence, etc. In Aramark (UK) Ltd v Fernandes 2020 , the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) was specifically asked whether employers are required to offer redundant employees casual work.

Case facts. Mr Fernandes (F) had been made redundant. He claimed that his redundancy dismissal was unfair because he wasn’t added to Aramark’s (A) list of bank workers at the point he was made redundant and this would have given him a chance of some work, albeit on a casual basis. A argued that those on its bank list were not employed - they were ad hoc workers.

EAT ruling. The EAT held that F’s redundancy would not have been avoided by A placing him on its list of bank staff. Doing so would have merely opened up the prospect of work for A; there was no guarantee of any secure work (see The next step ).

Tip. This ruling confirms that casual work is not considered to be suitable alternative employment for redundancy purposes. So, if you operate a list of casual staff you do not have to place a redundant employee on it. You may wish to do so if they have the skills and experience which you need.

Casual work isn’t considered to be suitable alternative employment for redundancy purposes. That means redundant employees don’t have to be offered it or added to any casual or bank staff system which you operate.

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