Nikolas Clarke acts for respondents in redundancy and wrongful/unfair dismissal case

19 February 2024

Nikolas Clarke represented Mr and Mrs A in an unfair/wrongful dismissal claim brought by their former house manager. The claimant had been employed to manage and maintain their 9-bedroom property and 10 acres of land.

In 2022, the couple decided to downsize by buying a 4-bedroom house.

The claimant alleged he had not been given formal notice that his role was becoming redundant nor that his employers were moving.

However, the couple’s packing was in 3 phases and clearly evident as it involved a large operation. Additionally, Mr and Mrs A had asked the claimant to arrange for the new owner to look at the land.

Moreover, Mr A met him to discuss what was going on and confirmed:

  • they would not need a house manager at their new home and the claimant would be made redundant
  • the claimant would be paid full salary to the end of December if he was unable to find suitable alternative employment, and
  • if the claimant was still unemployed by January, he could work on a self-employed basis at their new house.

The tribunal’s findings

The employers no longer needed the claimant to carry out the type of work he had - so met the redundancy criteria in section 139 Employment Rights Act 1996.

In accordance with section 98(4), the circumstances were fair considering the size and administrative resources for the employer (a personal employment relationship between individuals).

There was reasonable notice.

The respondents were also awarded £10,000 in costs.