A family member works for a large consulting / outsourcing company and has been permanently employed by them for many years, working for multiple different clients over this time. When one client assignment comes to an end he uses the employer's internal jobs board to find a new assignment.
Late last year he started a new assignment, but a few weeks in the client decided that his skills were not well matched with the tasks they wanted him to do and requested that a new person be assigned to the role. He was withdrawn from the role and his employer provided the client with a new person instead.
At that time he was given written notice by his employer that he was now "in a Consultation process" and if he could not find a new assignment within some period of time (as far as I know, no set time frame was given in writing, but verbally he understood that he had about 6 weeks) then his employment would be terminated "on the grounds of skills mismatch with the current role."
They also verbally used the word "redundancy" but have subsequently retracted this and stated in writing that the role (with the specific client that he was withdrawn from) is not redundant, the work is ongoing and another person whose skills are better matched has filled that role.
He then continued looking for alternative assignments and spent time doing various training courses to broaden his skillset. Unfortunately he was not able to find another assignment that matched his skills within the time frame, and his employer has now given him notice.
To my mind (and from https://www.gov.uk/dismissal/reasons-you-can-be-dismissed ) there are two ways they could have done this:
- redundancy (not redundancy from the specific assignment he was withdrawn from, but redundancy from his outsourcing role in general if they no longer have any roles that need his skillset) - which would entail a redundancy payment
- dismissal due to "Not being able to do your job properly" - in which case he should have been through a disciplinary process etc., which he has not.
I also work for a (different) consultancy firm and in my company we would definitely class this as redundancy and would pay a redundancy payment. The issue would be ours in that we would not have any suitable work for someone with his skillset, not that he was unable to perform the specific role we had originally allocated him to.
Is my understanding correct? Assuming that he would be happy with an outcome of either a) having his job back and waiting until a role that matches his skillset comes along, or b) being paid a redundancy payment, what should be his next steps?