Cases in the News: Unfair Dismissal: Dismissing a part-time employee for redundancy after their role was made full-time

An Employment Tribunal has ruled that a former Capita employee was unfairly dismissed after they were made redundant following a restructuring that meant they were unable to continue working in a part-time role.

The Sheffield Employment Tribunal also found that the employee, Mrs McBride, had been subject to indirect sex discrimination because of her sex.

Mrs McBride returned to work following maternity leave and a career break and requested flexible working hours to help manage the health of her children.

Her employer refused the request because the role required her to be in the office from Monday to Friday, but she was informed that a job share that would allow her to work from Wednesday to Friday would be possible.

Mr Lovell, Mrs McBride’s Manager, informed the Employment Tribunal that he had concerns over the job share before it began, believing there would be issues with accountability and the efficiency of product delivery.

Mrs McBride was then given separate projects to the other employee, effectively diluting the job share and dissolving any shared responsibility.

A review of the team was then undertaken, with Mr Lovell feeling that the roles needed to be full-time, moving from one full-time member of staff and two part-time members to a team with three full-time members of staff.

Mrs McBride and the other employee she job-shared with were informed that they were at risk of redundancy, before she challenged her manager on the decision, stating that she felt the agreement had not been properly tested to arrive at this conclusion.

Following a series of meetings and appeals, Mrs McBride was put on notice of redundancy with her contract being terminated in September 2018. The colleague that she job-shared with was also made redundant.

In his Judgment, Judge Robert Little said: “We do not consider that any such fine-tuning of the way in which the role was conducted makes it work of a different kind. Accordingly we find that there was no redundancy situation in law with the result that that could not be a fair reason for dismissing the claimant.”