Any employment law experts in the house?


I haven’t posted here in a while as things have been going OK until covid 19 came along.

I have just found out at work that there has been sweeping redundancies as part of cost cutting and there is a restructure in place. I have lost a couple of my team members and I have also learned that a small department which we work closely with has been culled. I was informed this morning that I have been put forward to “take over” the work of this department (three people) and as its in the repair field its “right up my street!” I have little to very little experience in this field and am slightly worried.

I have been at the company for a good few years so I was sort of hoping I would be unaffected or in the worst case made redundant. (Apologies to anyone who have lost their jobs recently, I do not mean to sound ungrateful, I know what an effect redundancy can have on people who are left to carry on and do extra work, etc)

My question is, can my employer change my role like this? I understand that yes I need to be grateful I have a job, but to close down a department and then push me into a position where I do their work but in a different job title seems a bit dodgy really. My employer know about my disability and I think that they haven’t given me the push as they are concerned for me or concerned that they may be seen as discriminating against me somehow if they were to make me redundant.

I know that I will have to seek expert legal advice at some point, but for the time being and while we are still in lockdown I have to worry about what I am going to have to go back to work to. If I can’t do the job, are they going to sack me?

Thanks for any advice

If they are substantially changing your job to the point they are creating a new role then your old role has been made redundant. Volunteer for redundancy. It’s not the person made redundant it’s the job. If your old job has gone then take redundancy.

It is important to realise that in a few weeks when the chancellor pulls the rug over supporting businesses and employees jobs there will be lots or redundancies and sackings .

So take the new job and get your feet under the table and keep you salary.

Do not take redundancy that is bad advise, sorry Florence.


Just be content and be grateful because there will be millions on the dole.

Thanks for the couple of comments so far. The issue I have is that the work which I fear I am being lined up for is beyond my skill set. The people who have lost their jobs have been doing the work for 10 years plus. You can’t just take over with no experience and expect to get by. I know that I wont get any training and literally be expected to produce results. My fear is that this will lead to dismissal as not up to being able to perform said role.

I am suffering more and more anxiety lately and think that I may need to take some time off to recover. I also think that I could be heading for a relapse as my legs feel heavy all the time, and I am losing sensations in my left arm, very similar to a relapse from a few years ago where I lost movement in the arm for a few months. My eyesight seems to be suffering to but this could be down to stress.

We have health insurance at work so might have to hope that this would kick in if my symptoms get worst and I am unable to work. I don’t know what I am going to do but everything seems to be coming to a head soon.

I really feel for you, Anonymous. It does sound as though your MS is being exacerbated by your anxiety about your future. Do you need this job, i.e.financially? Does that form part of your decision-making? Jobs with other employers are likely to be very thin on the ground going forward, so it might be best to stay where you are. Are you in a union? Do you have an Occupational Health function at your work that you could talk to? If you change roles, you need to have a new contract of employment, and it’s really important that expectations for the role are thoroughly discussed, agreed and documented, with training included, and a clear support mechanism. Your employer must think you’re capable of the new role. You’re clearly very conscientoius and professional otherwise you wouldn’t be worried. Find out as much as you can about what’s expected and how you’d be supported to help you feel more in control. I wish you luck x

The Disability Law Service are who you need to be speaking to -

Sorry to bump this post back up but I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with the position I am in. I have been signed off sick for now due to a relapse which has been caused in my opinion by what is going on at work and I am getting more and more anxious as time goes on.

I really feel that I am being set up and being forced to resign from my current job because of the “new” duties I will have to take on. I have spoke with ACAS who feel that as my job description states that “from time to time i may be needed to do other duties outside of my job description” then the company are well within their rights to move/ adjust my duties.

The frustrating thing is that they are changing my normal place of work as normally I am out and about at customer premises and when I am not, I work from home catching up on admin, etc, etc. I have always worked from home but now my location of work is going to be the nearby offices and I am going to have to add about 1 and a half hours onto my daily commute through rush hour traffic to get there and back home.

I have spoke with the Disability Laws Service and they have said that I need to ask for reasonable adjustments for the work I am being lined up to undertake. The issue I have is that for my “normal” role I have no problem doing the work, I have always managed comfortably. However, in this new role with amended duties I won’t be able to do the work due to my MS disability with moving my arm. I have fine dexterity weakness in my hand/ arm which prevents me from writing with a pen or holding tools easily. I don’t have an issue in my current role as I don’t have to use anything small albeit for a very short time. I can’t see how asking for reasonable adjustments is going to help me with this, unless I ask for somebody to physically do the work for me. I don’t need reasonable adjustments for my job, I never have done!

Surely this whole situation must warrant some sort of unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. I can’t see any other way around this situation other than to resign or stay out with stress on the sick and be unfit for work. My company surely has a duty of care to its employees and not put people under great stress which would cause them distress and additional worries.

My concern now is that this latest relapse is going to cause some permanent disability and it was all caused by my managers/companies actions. where is the duty of care to its employees or appreciation for years of service?

You can be transferred to any office. I am more surprised by the reaction of ACAS. How a person can perform tasks about which nothing is specifically said. I understand that you can write “extra work”, but what does it mean? Cleaning the toilets, undressing for money, or what? This is outrageous. Extra work is paid separately as part-time or a percentage as overtime. Your company and ACAS are birds of a feather flock together. There’s no other way to put it. You need this specialist personal injury lawyers to resolve a workplace dispute. You shouldn’t procrastinate and quit over fools. This is your place. Win the dispute and then proudly walk away to the competition

Well, I don’t think they can do that. If you are not physically able to do something, this can’t give them a reason to fire you. On top, I am sure your company has a policy regarding changing the departments and all of that. Maybe you need a lawyer to help you out with everything. I always contact when I need a lawyer. They have an online platform that makes everything easier so you can goggle them and see, maybe they can help you. At least, you can go through the contract and see if they can do anything like that.

Your role is gone, you will need to start from scratch