Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In the case of Sedze v Bulb Interiors Ltd ET/3347066/2016 the Employment Tribunal held that the Claimant (Ms Sedze) had been dismissed by the Respondent (Bulb Interiors Ltd) for redundancy reasons rather than because she had taken a period of maternity leave.

The facts in Sedze v Bulb Interiors Ltd

Ms Sedze commenced employment with Bulb Interiors Ltd, a small design company employing approx 9 to 10 people, in February 2014 as a Business Development Manager. Ms Sedze’s role primarily focused on telesales and the conversion of leads generated by the company’s Sales Director (who, at the time of her recruitment, was a Mr Scott).

In 2014 and 2015 Bulb Interiors did not grow that quickly, and it became clear that sales from new leads were not developing that well. It was established that most new business was coming from existing customers, with sales from new leads making up only 10% of business.

Ms Sedze went on maternity leave in December 2015. Whilst Ms Sedze was on maternity leave Manisha Kulkarni was recruited as a Business Development Manger. Despite her title, Ms Kulkarni’s role was significantly different to that of Ms Sedze.

In April 2016 Mr Scott resigned from his role as sales director after concerns over his performance were put to him. In early January 2016 it was also decided that not enough work was being generated by telesales and that it would be necessary to concentrate more on expanding existing business.

On 4 May 2016 Ms Sedze emailed the company to state that she wished to return to work on 4 July 2016. There was initially no response to her email, but she was subsequently asked to come in to a meeting on 23 June 2016. At that meeting she was informed that after Mr Scott’s departure it had been decided that the company would no longer pursue telesales, and that her role was therefore at risk of redundancy.

A formal consultation meeting took place on 5 July 2016. At that meeting Ms Sedze was informed that her position was at risk and, unless there was an alternative, she would be made redundant. It was discussed in this meeting that a suitable alternative role for Ms Sedze might be that of document controller (a new role). Ms Sedze was informed on 12 July 2016 that she would be made redundant. She was then put on garden leave and paid in respect of her redundancy entitlement. She appealed against her dismissal and her appeal was considered by an external HR consultant, Sarah King. Ms Sedze’s appeal was rejected.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Sedze v Bulb Interiors Ltd

The Employment Tribunal held that Ms Sedze had not been dismissed because of the period of maternity leave but because there was a genuine redundancy situation – the Tribunal found that the business had decided that telesales were no longer viable and to concentrate on other areas of the business.

The Tribunal further held that a fair procedure had been followed in making Ms Sedze redundant and that the company had made diligent efforts to look at alternatives to making her redundant – in particular, the Tribunal found that Mrs Kulkarni was not in a similar role to Ms Sedze and that it was therefore not unfair to not pool them together.

 

Our solicitors’ view on Sedze v Bulb Interiors Ltd

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “The Tribunal clearly held in this case that Ms Sedze’s dismissal had not been because of her period of maternity leave but because there was a genuine redundancy situation – if businesses want to make redundancies they should always be careful to ensure that there is a good reason for making redundancies and that a fair redundancy process is followed.”

The judgment of the Employment Tribunal can be found here

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    292 Reviews

    Anonymous

    Exceeded my expectations. Very professional and proactive. I highly recommend them.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    The service provided to me by Redmans Solicitors was excellent and I would have no hesitation in recommending Chris. While I cannot get into the detail of the matter, it was very emotionally difficult for me and Chris was sensitive throughout and was clear that his motivation was arriving at a solution that helped me while I am unwell - and less about his own fee. His emotional intelligence was coupled with a very sharp and quick understanding of the complex facts of the matter and the legal arguments and he quickly formed a strong case working with me the whole way. Chris was particularly patient with me at what I found a stressful time, and I want to thank him personally for everything he did.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    A lovely, friendly and professional service. They advised me through my employment change. They where very responsive, keeping me updated and explaining everything in layman’s terms. No hidden charges. I would highly recommend them.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Philip H

    I was advised well and had a good experience using Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Line v

    Good service and very helpful, informative

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Katarzyna Z

    Very prompt replies, good rates and competent staff.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Sudhir S

    Professional in approach and give good advice all the time during my settlement agreement with the Company. Fee wise slightly expensive compare to the initial estimates.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Aaron H

    Very grateful to Mel who was brilliant kept me informed and was really helpful when I needed her

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Alexia P

    The team at Redmans we're always professional and helpful throughout my case. The team were open to listening to me, understanding my situation and being clear about what they can support with.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Emma L

    So glad I chose Redmans to assist with my emplyment issue. From start to finish I received excellent service. Mel Chin had calm, methodical approach and she got me a far better result than I could have done on my own. Would not hesitate recommend far and wide.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Sam T

    I was extremely impressed with the support and advice that I received. The solicitors I worked with acted very quickly and were clear in their communications at every stage.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    I cannot thank Caroline enough for her empathetic help, advice and guidance in what was at times a very stressful situation. Always professional and available to answer any queries I had, I highly recommend Caroline and all the team at Redmans.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Robert M

    Chris Hadrill provided me with very efficient turn around of an employment offer from a US-based company. Chris reviewed the contract, identified key issues and offered sound/pragmatic advice and suggestions for improvement which I could then bring in non-legalese to my prospective employer. Employer accepted all the important changes Chris suggested and I accepted the job!! Very satisfied with the service.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Karen R

    Prompt, helpful and excellent service. Very professional and super quick. Very reasonable price for London. Definitely recommend and would use again.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Redmans, I would not hesitate to recommend this firm of solicitors. Thank you very much to the team, and especially Chris and Mel!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Siriana B

    Thorough, efficient, and always available to answer my queries. It was a pleasure to deal with.Thanks

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent speedy service

    Posted 1 month ago

    Robert

    Excellent service, very professional. would definitely use again.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mary B

    I was very happy with the work Chris did for me. I believe with his help I secured a more favourable outcome both financially and in terms of clauses contained in the legal agreement I ultimately signed. I had utmost trust and confidence in the advice Chris provided throughout. Chris kept me informed at every stage and I found him very efficient at bringing matters to a conclusion without unnecessary delay.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mark M

    I found Redmans very easy to work with. Mel was very responsive, her advice led to an improved settlement. . Recommended.!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Fantastic service. I would recommend Redmans to anyone who needed a Solicitor. The communication was second to none and consistent clear guidance was given.

    Posted 1 month ago