Case in Focus – Packman

scale of justice

Packman v Fauchon UKEAT/0017/12/LA

What happened?

Mrs Fauchon worked as a bookkeeper for Packman. The business experienced a decline, in response the employer purchased a software package which reduced the hours needed to be worked by the bookkeeper. Due to this, the respondent tried to persuade the claimant to significantly reduce her working hours, however the claimant refused to do so. Because her contract entitled her to work the hours she was doing, and the employer no longer needed her to work those hours, the employer gave her notice of dismissal.

The Hearings

The employment tribunal found that it was common ground that Mrs Fauchon was dismissed. The employer demonstrated that the reason was redundancy caused by a decline in the business, meaning that there was a diminished need for bookkeeping. Mrs Fauchon was offered a reduction in hours however she chose not to accept these terms.  Therefore, a redundancy payment was payable to her.

Take away points

  • Redundancy is defined by three situations: The company has ceased trading, the company has ceased training in a particular location or the volume of work has ceased or diminished. If in doubt, take professional advice from us.
  • Employers may reduce hours where possible, in order to avoid redundancies.
  • It can be helpful to consider introducing lay-off or short-time working clauses into your employment contracts.
  • You might want to consider your own version of the furlough scheme once the current one expires – we can help you design and implement this.

Nicholsons offer a comprehensive outsourced HR service, so if you want to discuss your business needs, get in touch.

Posted in Blog, Covid-19, HR.