Fair redundancy process

(28 Posts)
HungryHorace Sat 04-Jul-15 12:42:49

It's likely that my firm will be making me redundant shortly, with my finishing date being in just over 12 weeks' time.

My role at the moment is as a trainee, and I'll be qualifying following that period of training. The only vacancies in the firm right now are for qualified people who've been practising a few years, not for an NQ with no post-qualification experience (and in areas I've never worked in before, so have no experience either pre- or during training). There's no guarantee that any suitable job will arise in the near future either.

I've got 5 years' service with the firm as of this month.

I * think * I know what they need to do in relation to making me redundant, but if somebody could please confirm it for me that'd be great (particularly in relation to what happens if a suitable role DOES come up in the next 12 weeks, especially if it's before the firm starts its redundancy process).

Thank you in advance.

DragonMamma Sun 05-Jul-15 00:56:54

Firstly, are you sure you are on a permanent contract now you're a trainee?

if existing staff are successful in getting a TC then when we issue their contracts as trainees we put them on fixed term contracts for the 2 year period, as there's no guarantee of an NQ post afterwards.

If this isn't the case and they are going to make you redundant then if it's only you (or possibly a very small number) then they will have to consult with you on an individual basis, where you explore any ways that the redundancy situation can be avoided or whether there are any other positions you can be considered for. They will look for any potential suitable alternatives for you.

I'm a bit confused about your last paragraph. Have they told you formally that your position is at risk of redundancy? If they haven't and something comes up in the next 12 weeks then nothing will happen re: the redundancy as it'll no longer be an issue.

If you're referring you vacancies arising prior to your termination date then they can just confirm you in the new post, whenever that will start.

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 06:30:03

Sorry, in relation to the last paragraph I'm wondering how obligated they are to offer / interview me for any post arising in the next 12 weeks.

And I'm on a fixed contract but still have 5 years' service behind me in relation to redundancy. I'm not exactly sure of the relevance of that question as I know they don't have to give me a job at the end. Maybe I'm being dim as it's Sunday!

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 06:31:54

(It's also been longer than 2 years as I've had 2 lots of maternity leave during the TC!)

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 06:34:25

And thank you for confirming the consultation thing. That was what I wanted to clarify really as they made a previous trainee redundant by emailing her back after she asked what happened post-qualification with the news that she'd be made redundant. I didn't think that was right!

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 06:37:34

Or are you saying they don't have to follow a redundancy process because it's a fixed term contract, regardless of length of service?

I know they've paid redundancy pay, so doesn't that mean they have to follow the process?

addictedtosugar Sun 05-Jul-15 07:15:28

If its a fixed term contract, can they just not renew at the end? I wouldn't have thought it was a redundancy situation, just a business decision not to extend your contract. Sorry.

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 07:17:05

I'm now spamming my own thread...I've looked at my contract and yes, it's fixed term.

So, that means that it will just come to an end when I qualify (though obviously the date in it is wrong due to the mat leave)? And no notice is actually required?

Though, as it's ending, it's still dismissal, so they must follow a fair process in dismissing me, so far as I understand. So, good practice means that they should follow their dismissal process before the contract ends?

But the question is whether it's redundancy or SOSR (though redundancy pay is applicable due to length of service) as to their obligations to me, is that right?

It's been years since I had anything to do with employment law, so I want to be clued up about what should happen before I finish!

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 07:18:37

I'm more interested in the process they need to follow than its name, addicted, I think. I probably should've worded it differently now I've had answers which have made me question it!

Thank you for helping me get it clear though. :-)

lougle Sun 05-Jul-15 07:49:14

Gov.uk:
"Ending a fixed-term contact
Fixed-term contracts will normally end automatically when they reach the agreed end date. The employer doesn’t have to give any notice.

If a contract isn’t renewed
This is considered to be a dismissal, and if the employee has 2 years’ service the employer needs to show that there’s a ‘fair’ reason for not renewing the contract (eg, if they were planning to stop doing the work the contract was for).

Workers have the right:

not to be unfairly dismissed after 2 years’ service - for employees who were in employment before 6 April 2012, it’s 1 year’s service
to a written statement of reasons for not renewing the contract - after 1 year’s service
They may be entitled to statutory redundancy payments after 2 years’ service if the reason for non-renewal is redundancy.

If the employer wants to end the contract earlier
What happens depends on the terms of the contract. If it says:

nothing about being ended early, the employer may be in breach of contract
it can be ended early, and the employer has given proper notice, the contract can be ended
Minimum notice period

Fixed-term employees have the right to a minimum notice period of:

1 week if they’ve worked continuously for at least 1 month
1 week for each year they’ve worked, if they’ve worked continuously for 2 years or more
These are the minimum periods. The contract may specify a longer notice period.

If an employer ends a contract without giving the proper notice, the employee may be able to claim breach of contract.

Working longer than the contract’s end date
If an employee continues working past the end of a contract without it being formally renewed, there’s an ‘implied agreement’ by the employer that the end date has changed.

The employer still needs to give proper notice if they want to dismiss the worker.

Example
If a contract was for 1 month but the employee actually worked for 3 months, they’d still be entitled to the minimum notice period (1 week)."

FishWithABicycle Sun 05-Jul-15 07:50:21

Did you have a permanent contract with this firm in a more junior role before you started the training contract? If you joined on a fixed term contract they have no obligations to you regarding redundancy or any kind of dismissal process. When it's over it's over.

If you previously had a permanent contract then it will depend on what happened when you started this training I think. They may have a bit more obligation to you. I was once working for an employer on a permanent contract and was very interested in a more senior role that was only fixed term. I had a long conversation with HR about what they would do if I got this role. They said that at the end of the fixed term I would be automatically put into their redundancy process, including being considered first for equivalent roles before they were advertised externally, but if nothing came up I'd be out. However, I don't know if that was their legal obligation or just their chosen policy. (I didn't get selected for the opportunity anyway)

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 07:53:40

Yes, I was with them in a couple of lesser roles for 2.5 years before starting this contract.

And the firm has referred to 'redundancy' with the two trainees that finished their TCs before me as well when they weren't kept on (we all had more junior roles prior as it was an internal candidates only application process).

I just want to make sure it's done fairly with the right amount of notice as my firm is notorious for ignoring employment law!

FishWithABicycle Sun 05-Jul-15 07:54:34

Being on a fixed term training contract, you becoming qualified and in no further need of training is a fair reason.

Trickytricky Sun 05-Jul-15 08:05:12

I don't think they have to follow a redundancy procedure. It's a fixed term contract for 2 years. It will say in your contract that they're not obliged to offer you a job at the end of it.

Firms usually tell their trainees whether they have NQ jobs by the summer which is normal practice. If an NQ role becomes available between now and when you qualify they may offer you it but wouldn't hold your breathe. Plenty of other places to apply to I would have thought so get on and apply externally. That's my advice.

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 08:07:02

That's fair enough, but what process should they be following (particularly as they've referred to it as redundancy and paid redundancy pay to the other 2 trainees in my cohort they didn't keep on. Is it reasonable to assume that they are dealing with it as redundancy in that situation)?

DragonMamma Sun 05-Jul-15 08:10:40

I thought you may be on a ftc as a trainee.

As pp have said above, when it's over it's over. I would usually do a dismissal meeting in advance of the end date but there's no real need to.

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 08:19:35

Despite the previous service bringing my total service to 5 years (and the TC itself being 2 years and 9 months) and how the firm has referred to it with the other 2 trainees?

DragonMamma Sun 05-Jul-15 08:30:13

We have this situation with at least one of our trainees and we don't pay redundancy pay if they don't get an NQ role. Although generally there's enough for one each but sometimes it's in an area they dont want to qualify in to.

DragonMamma Sun 05-Jul-15 08:32:02

Your firm may well treat it as redundancy though, from what you've said.

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 08:41:48

OK. That's interesting to know.

i know they've paid redundancy to the others so I'll definitely push to be treated the same if there isn't an NQ role.

I think the least a firm should do is have a chat with a trainee who's not being kept on though, especially if they do have prior service.

lougle Sun 05-Jul-15 08:47:35

I think the gov.UK advice is quite clear about what they have to do.

HungryHorace Sun 05-Jul-15 08:58:00

But the gov.uk advice was for FTCs only, not FTCs with prior service. Hence asking the question.

lougle Sun 05-Jul-15 09:11:00

No. The gov.UK advice gives advice for FTC with prior service. If you have more than 2 years service you are entitled not to be dismissed unfairly, to be given a written statement of reasons for dismissal, notice (as you have worked past the date on your contract) and redundancy pay if the reason for dismissal is redundancy.

It's all there.

arnieschwartzsnogger Sun 05-Jul-15 09:14:04

I don't really think the prior service counts. They offered you training in the form of a fixed term contract. FTC have end dates. There was no guarantee of a job at the end of it. Surely you realised that?

lougle Sun 05-Jul-15 09:45:55

Because the contact continued from previous contact with the same employer it's continuous service. If it's a redundancy situation, it makes no difference that she's fixed term. The government made a legal change to protect fixed term employees.

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