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What is Bumping Redundancy?

April 2, 2023

A bumping redundancy is where the person whose role is redundant does not get dismissed. Instead they take someone else’s job and that person is dismissed instead. The person who is dismissed is still dismissed because of redundancy. Redundancy of someone else’s job. They were “bumped” out of their own job.

In the case of Murray v Foyle Meats Limited, two staff worked for the company. They were contracted to do any job in a slaughterhouse if requested to do so. When work dropped off their roles became redundant, and they argued their dismissals weren’t fair because they didn’t do work of the kind which had diminished. However, it was decided that their dismissals were still due to there being less work in their department overall and so their dismissals were still due to redundancy.

Employment law is fascinating stuff. An employee is not really dismissed by bumping redundancy if that was not the real reason for their dismissal. In other words, employers should not use bumping as a sham reason to dismiss someone. You shouldn’t “bump” someone just because they are not liked or where there is some discriminatory reason for them losing their job. The bump has to be a genuine bump.

In the case of bumping, both the bumper and the bumpee must usually be employed by the same employer. Like every good rule in employment law there are exceptions. Hence we cannot cover all nuances in a short post. Hence the word “usually”.  There are two exceptions. Firstly an exception which when you think about it is fairly obvious which is where such as a teacher is employed by an overarching local authority and is bumped from one teaching post to another. Another exception is less obvious to do with being bumped across associated employers in groups of companies.

The important point to help employers stay the right side of employment laws about bumping, is to be clear on what work has diminished or dropped off. In a bumping situation, looking at the facts on the ground may give more insight than looking at the terms of old employment contracts.

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