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0 votes
Every year our ground staff are made redundant from November to March at the end of February the Clark asks them if they want to return she then reemploys them the clerk then report this to the council I think she should put in on the agenda and ask the parish council if we want to employ them
by (1.9k points)

5 Answers

0 votes
Ah, technically it is legal as it is longer than 13 weeks.

Ideally it should be in their contract or they should be laid-off, as part of their contract.

The other option would, in effect term time working (work 40/52 but paid over 52).
by (9.0k points)
Hi I would like to know if the clerk has the power to reempoly them or should it go to the council to say weather we want to reempoly them again
If you purposely lay off staff, (and is part of their terms and conditions), then the employees are permitted to request redundancy.

Whether the Clerk can re-employ would depend on the delegated authority provided to the Clerk as hiring is a responsibility of the full council, unless delegated.
+1 vote
The clerk has no powers to hire and fire staff, unless the council has previously delegated this function to the clerk. Do you ever compare the cost of direct employment with the alternative of hiring a specialist contractor to undertake this work? I presume that you are also providing your staff with the necessary equipment, which adds to the cost.

Whilst this arrangement of making staff redundant and reemploying them may suit the council, I would advise you to seek specialist HR advice. This practice may fall foul of the continuity of employment regulations, giving your ground staff full employment rights. Failing to advertise a vacancy could put you in the firing line for a breach of equal opportunities legislation. For example, is there an appropriate gender balance amongst your ground staff?

I'm not an HR expert, but one alternative might be to clarify their employment status by employing them on a permanent zero-hours contract, giving you the option of varying the start and finish dates of the main season and carrying out odd jobs during the winter months.
by (53.3k points)
0 votes
In addition to the comments made, there are technically vacancies when the staff are re engaged, and it is possible that some people might argue they should be advertised and interviews arranged.  It is also possible that the ground staff could take the council to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. There is useful maintenance work that can be done at a smaller scale in winter months. I think it is better to employ them on a permanent contract and modify their working hours for each month of the year.
by (35.4k points)
0 votes
I would suspect there is some old arrangement between the staff and clerk (and perhaps the council) which suits the employees?
by (2.5k points)
The councillors should have been made aware of that, if true.
Indeed, but in my experience, these things are not always explained to councillors.
Thank you for comments I will find out more from the clerk and come back at a later date
0 votes
Interesting. Its my understanding that you can only make people redundant if the job is no longer available or that the role has to change for a business reason to such a degree that the employer has to be made redundant. This doesn't seem to be the case here and if the employee was unhappy, I believe they would have a case for tribunal.
by (24.4k points)
Seems that the staff have a contract to work March / November but the clerk does not ask the council if she can reinstate them in March she just reports that they are starting work again I think the council should be asked and voted on
I wonder whether anybody has tried the "We didn't realise the grass would start growing again in March" defence at tribunal?!

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