Flowery or anyone in HR - please help!

(23 Posts)
teddyisagreatcat Wed 24-Feb-16 20:34:00

I posted on Chat and got a suggestion to reach out to Flowery or anyone working in HR. Would appreciate an advice as have not been in this position before.
Was made redundant on Monday. Last year was given improvement required and raised grievance as proved to line manager it was not justifiable. Boss admitted it was unfair and only done because of the "bell" curve so someone had to get it. Grievance letter ignored by the business, no follow up.
Spent the whole year working extra hard, huge workload, great feedback from internal and external customers, big role, boss kept pilling more projects. Young kids, only breadwinner.
No warning, called into the meeting room to see my boss and his boss there, told my role does not exist, I am the only one made redundant, "no reflection on my performance". Took the letter, said will read it, agreed will speak again soon. My boss a few days ago told me they are making a contractor permanent in my team, my projects are still ongoing and will be for a good 2 years.
Another meeting has already been set up tomorrow morning...
Have I been unfairly dismissed? How can I negotiate better package as my age is now against me?

Iamliftzilla Wed 24-Feb-16 20:36:47

How long have you worked there for?

teddyisagreatcat Wed 24-Feb-16 22:43:14

10 years

LordEmsworth Wed 24-Feb-16 23:01:57

Making staff redundant government guidance has some info about what an employer must do for it to be lawfully redundancy.

I notice you don't mention a consultation period, which might be problematic for them if you do look into unfair dismissal. I don't think 3 days really counts as a consultation period.

The minimum you are entitled to is 10 weeks' notice (after consultation has ended) plus - depending on your age - 10 weeks' redundancy pay (tax free), based on 10 years' service. Presumably your letter includes their offer to you?

Poor you, it must be horrible after 10 years to get treated so shabbily.

Daffodil1210 Wed 24-Feb-16 23:29:07

I'm assuming the contractor will be doing a similar/identical role to the one they're making you redundant from? All sounds a bit underhand to me if so. Firstly I'd have a read through the info in the following links in prep for your meeting on Monday (assuming you live/work in England, but if not there may be slightly different advice for Wales/Scotland/NI):

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/work-comes-to-an-end/redundancy/
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/employment-tribunals-from-29-july-2013/making-an-employment-tribunal-claim-is-it-worth-it/employment-tribunals-unfair-dismissal-claims/legal-tests/employment-tribunals-legal-tests-for-unfair-dismissal-claims-redundancy/

It should give you an idea of what questions you might want to ask.

Is there anyone else who does a similar/identical role to yours and, if so, do you know if they were considered for redundancy?
They say they no longer have a role for you yet the work you are doing is still going to be there according to your manager - can you find out who will be doing this work going forward?
Did they consult with you at all (i.e. tell you by way of letter that your role may be made redundant) and does the letter they've given you state that you are being made redundant or there is a possibility that you may be?

I work in HR but have been on maternity leave for 9 months so my knowledge is slightly more "lacking" than it once was, so I'm hoping someone else a bit more "switched on" will be along soon, but happy to help in the meantime if I can.

Daffodil1210 Wed 24-Feb-16 23:30:25

Sorry, I meant in prep for your meeting tomorrow!

TiredButFineODFOJ Thu 25-Feb-16 00:05:46

My best advice for the meeting tomorrow is to ask questions, and say very little of your own feelings etc. Take notes!
Questions-
How was my post identified for redundancy
Why is my post being made redundant
How will the projects I am working on be worked on after this post is made redundant
What redundancy package are they offering
What is the appeal process against redundancy
What alternatives have you considered to making this post redundant

If they ask you anything, just say that's a good question you need some time to think about it, can you get back to them/this is all so sudden etc.

Daffodil1210 Thu 25-Feb-16 08:05:19

I'd also add don't let them rush you or pressure you into signing/agreeing anything.

Good luck!

Choughed Thu 25-Feb-16 10:09:13

ACAS and your union are also good places to start. Also some good advice I have seen is that you should try to identity what you want the outcome to be - you can't turn the clock back so the best outcome could be, for example, an enhanced redundancy settlement and a guarantee of an excellent reference.

Sorry you have been treated so shabbily.

teddyisagreatcat Thu 25-Feb-16 12:29:19

Thank you for all the suggestions and great questions that I will be putting to them in writing.
To answer some of your questions:
I live and work in England.
No consultation period, no indication was at risk either. Was given a letter and told - role does not exist any longer, they actually said there is no option for redeployment. The letter states I am being made redundant from the 31st March. (I have 3 months notice, they will pay the rest of notice in leu).
The best outcome would be an enhanced settlement but I have no idea how to go about it, hence the question if the case could be considered an unfair dismissal.
Company policy for reference is to state how long I worked for and the role.

Iamliftzilla Thu 25-Feb-16 12:49:24

Are they paying you redundancy pay?

None of this sounds good to me. I think you have grounds to question the fairness of their process and probably the decision as well.

Daffodil1210 Thu 25-Feb-16 13:24:58

If you've had no consultation beforehand then you may very well have grounds for unfair dismissal. If you are not part of a union, I would definitely contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau and ACAS (as PP suggested) to get some RL advice. Even if you do not want to officially persue an unfair dismissal claim, it is definitely worth knowing whether you may be able to and on what basis in order to negotiate a better redundancy package. I certainly would if I were you, especially given your length of service and the way they've handled this.

In terms of redundancy payment, I believe you will be entitled to (as a minimum) Statutory Redundancy Pay, Pay in Lieu of Notice (PILON) and a payout of any accrued but unused holidays (I think up to the end of your notice period). There is a calculator on the GOV website which will allow you to calculate how much statutory redundancy pay you're entitled to.

It may also be worth checking your contract of employment and your Employee Handbook (if you have one) to check your not entitled to any enhanced redundancy package.

HermioneWeasley Thu 25-Feb-16 20:12:46

From what you've said you've got a strong case for unfair dismissal - no consultation process followed and a contractor being made perm (unless they've got a very different skill set to you).

Unfortunately you don't get masses of compensation for UD claims

teddyisagreatcat Thu 25-Feb-16 20:55:51

What will happen to their settlement offer if I inform them I am going to pursue unfair dismissal? Would they withdraw the original offer? Am I likely to end up with nothing if I go down that route and not win the case?

teddyisagreatcat Thu 25-Feb-16 20:56:32

What will happen to their settlement offer if I inform them I am going to pursue unfair dismissal? Would they withdraw the original offer? Am I likely to end up with nothing if I go down that route and not win the case?

flowery Thu 25-Feb-16 21:31:09

Sounds likely to be unfair dismissal to me. They need to consult (which for a single redundancy doesn't need to be onerous or lengthy, but it needs to happen and be meaningful), and need to tell you why they are making your position redundant, ie why the redundancy at all and why you in particular.

Have they made a settlement offer as you indicate or have they just said they will pay you monies owed, ie notice and redundancy pay?

Out of interest, and because sometimes it's helpful when working out how to tackle something, what do you think is the reason for this? I mean the real reason? Understanding your employer's underlying motivation can be useful when negotiating.

Daffodil1210 Thu 25-Feb-16 21:52:12

Is the redundancy package they've offered you just the statutory amount or is there also an enhanced payment?

I think you would launch the unfair dismissal claim after your employment has terminated and you have 3 months less one day to do so. They cannot take back the statutory redundancy payment from you, but I'm not entirely sure whether this amount would be offset against any amount you may be awarded under a successful unfair dismissal claim.

As PP has said, you're unlikely to be awarded a huge amount and so it may be more beneficial to see if you're able to negotiate a better redundancy package with your employer and avoid the additional hassle, so to speak.

If you want to negotiate an enhanced redundancy package, have a clear idea of what you want and have it written down when you go into the meeting. For example, would you want an additional 3/4/5/6 months pay on top of the statutory package as this may be how long it'll take you to find another role? You may also want to negotiate non-cash benefits (e.g. a lump sum payment into your pension, continuation coverage under your company's health insurance for an extra number of months, keeping a company car or mobile phone etc - not sure if any of these are relevant to you, but may be worth considering). You may also wish to request, as part of your package, that they pay for a session with a company that can help you re-build your CV and help with interview skills if you're at all concerned with finding your next role.

Before mentioning that you feel you're being unfairly dismissed to them I'd get some advice from ACAS/CAB as to whether you're likely to have a case. From my experience, a company would rather pay an employee a bit more in their redundancy package than go through the hassle of an unfair dismissal case, but you never know and you'd want to make sure you weren't making "empty threats".

HTH

teddyisagreatcat Fri 26-Feb-16 10:18:29

Some really useful suggestions, thank you.
They will pay money owned in leu, and the rest is in lump sum. I have asked how they calculated it as no indication of the number of weeks per each year. They said it is just a lump sum they offer.
As for the real reason - my line managers boss has changed about 18 months ago and the 'face does not fit any more'. I was excluded from the key events, where the rest of the team, including the contractor and all my external customers were invited to attend. Formally raised it in writing as my customers were calling me asking why I was not part of the forum. W
hat should my immediate steps be? Are there any deadlines I have to meet , say to raise lack of consultation etc?

TiredButFineODFOJ Fri 26-Feb-16 22:42:38

Check your home contents insurance to see whether you get any legal helpline cover, speaking to them about the situation can be helpful and costs nothing.
Are they offering redundancy or settlement agreement with reason for leaving being redundancy? With a settlement agreement they usually pay the cost of you getting independent legal advice. A settlement agreement offer would mean they know they can't justifiably get rid of you so they pay you off with a legal agreement where you give up any rights to make a legal challenge.

TiredButFineODFOJ Fri 26-Feb-16 22:44:24

Also when you formally raised in writing about being excluded, what did they do? Sounds like it should have been treated as a grievance to me....

travailtotravel Fri 26-Feb-16 22:55:04

I think the max payout for UD is £85k, so that is what I would push for. Also demand that the payment is made in the next financial year to avoid massive tax hit. You have to pay tax after the firstv£30k I think but if you've already used your tax allowance etc you would pay morevat higher rate than if you ask to have it in the next tax year.

BeaufortBelle Fri 26-Feb-16 23:17:02

If the lump sum is more than you are entitled to under stat redundancy they will pay it under a settlement agreement where you will relinquish any possible claims against them. Stat redundancy is £475pw max. For each year you are older than 41 you get 1.5 weeks' entitlement. You will have to work out whether what they are offering is worth relinquishing your rights. To be honest raising the grievance won't have done you any good.

My honest advice would be to rise above it graciously; ask if they have a redundancy procedure and check if they have followed it. Ask for triple comp under a settlement agreement with an agreed reference - the latter being the most important thing for your future.

BeaufortBelle Fri 26-Feb-16 23:20:12

I'll add, once you have had a case listed at employment tribunal it becomes a matter of public record. A whiff that you are litigious will have prospective employers running for the hills.

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