You and the Law – 28th April 2009

Don’t clear your desk

 My partner was recently offered redundancy in writing. She got another job and was waiting for a date to be set for her redundancy when a junior member of staff left.

 Now the firm says she has to fill the junior member of staff’s position. This has been very stressful for her; what should she do? AM

It’s not quite clear whether your partner actually accepted the redundancy offer. If she did (preferably in writing) then a contract exists which her employers cannot go back on.

She might be able to take up her new job and if necessary sue her former employers for her redundancy payment.

If things weren’t quite so cut and dried your partner should discuss the details with a solicitor.

She will probably be able to claim unfair dismissal if she’s forced to accept a junior position on a lower rate of pay.

Missed holiday

Last year we had a holiday in Australia and were due to spend five days in Thailand on the way back. But because Bangkok airport was closed we were put up overnight in a hotel in Kuala Lumpur at Emirates Airlines’ expense and then had to come home early.

However, the travel agent refuses to refund the cost of the part of the holiday we missed. What’s the legal position? CB

The closure of Bangkok airport was an event that neither the airline nor the tour operator could have foreseen or avoided.

In these circumstances you are probably not entitled to compensation, although you should check your insurance since that may cover you for any out of pocket expenses you incurred.

European law requires European carriers flying in and out of the EU to provide passengers with catering and overnight accommodation where necessary; it would appear that your airline complied with this even though not subject to EU law.

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