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Being made redundant...1st day back from maternity leave - is this good advice?

(15 Posts)
TreeFuTastic Mon 24-Sep-12 16:01:23


Well I rolled up at the office on my first day back after OML/AML and consecutive Parental leave expecting a constructive day planning my return to work and was promptly ushered straight into a meeting room to be told the company wasn't making sales targets so I was at risk of redundancy. The HR Manager told me as a "friend" that she was 99.9% sure I would be made redundant by early next month. Oh and welcome back!

I had no idea restructuring was taking place or that the balance sheet was not looking good. This is all against a backdrop of a fairly toxic boss who said he would like to shoot me dead and who I took screaming and kicking to mediation just before my first Mat Leave in 2009. He went a bit power mad and a bit bonkers IMHO - I hadn't really done anything to deserve the extreme negative treatment I got. It's all a bit complicated!

I suspect I haven't been selected impartially and fairly needless to say. I have lots of evidence of life being made difficult during 2 pregnancies and impending mat leaves, along with evidence of bullying.

More infuriatingly, I had a flexible working application refused 18 months ago (before last maternity leave) on the grounds my role was business critical and couldn't be anything but full time, 5 days a week. So it's strange for my role to be redundant now.

I have sought some legal advice from a helpline funded by my house insurance and the advice was:

- raise a grievance throwing everything I have at them to evidence an unfair selection for redundancy.

- make lots of suggestions for mitigating need for redundancy during the consultation period (accept pay cut/offer part time working etc).

- appeal redundancy when the time comes (which it will, let's not be naive)

Then go to a good lawyer.

Is that good advice? Is there anything else I could do/ask?

Thanks if you managed to read all of this! Any advice will be very gratefully received.

annh Mon 24-Sep-12 16:25:40

Now that you are back, it should be fairly easy to establish if the company has financial difficulties and if sales really are down? Are you the only person who is at risk or have others also been placed at risk of redundancy?

One point I would pick up on is that just because you were told 18 months ago that your role was business critical and you are now in danger of being made redundant, does not mean they are lying to you. If you are, e.g. in a sales support role, and there are no longer sales to support then the situation has changed. Not saying this has definitely happened in this case but it's not necessarily clear-cut.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 24-Sep-12 16:39:43

OMG 'shoot me dead' shock! He was lucky you took him to mediation and d not raise a grievance at that time.
Definitely agree with the advice you are given, especially the constructive suggestion eg re part-time working
Basically, be reasonable and helful but persistent, and at least they will give you a good pay-off to shut you up.

TreeFuTastic Mon 24-Sep-12 18:36:19



I am absolutely not in a sales connected role - and my area is absolutely business critical as I ensure we comply with the law and execute legal actions efficiently. My responsibilities must be covered by someone whether we sell 1 product or 1 million products so is unrelated to sales per se. But I am not a lawyer...don't want to say too much to possibly identify myself.

I have been put on paid leave with no access to company info. There has been a restructure but not affecting my work area, and it's true sales are down.

TreeFuTastic Mon 24-Sep-12 19:21:49

Oh and just to fill in the gaps, I have been offered statutory redundancy pay only (circa £3k).

I am aware of a couple of other redundancies in sales related areas - all of who received a substantial pay off via compromise agreements . But this has not been offered to me, which again seems a bit odd as this is the company's normal practice.

OodHousekeeping Mon 24-Sep-12 20:14:32

Did they cover you ?

StillSquiffy Mon 24-Sep-12 20:19:55

The substantial settlements definitely sets a precedent, so that is another thing to complain about. The advice is sound. Only difference is that I'd start with a good lawyer now, rather than later, simply because I think that a stronger compromise settlement now will save you the stress of taking action against them. It's also in their interests to have you gone and out of their hair now rather than have a tribunal hanging over them.

TreeFuTastic Tue 25-Sep-12 10:00:27

Great, thanks for the advice.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Tue 25-Sep-12 10:11:35

I agree about getting the lawyer involved now as they will be able to advise you re deadlines etc. I was lucky in my case that I got a good deal out the compnay, even thought the deadline had passed, and the lawyer who looked over my compromise agreement kept saying he couldn't understand why they were offering so much, or anything as the deadline for goign to tribunal had passed... (I only get him in for the compromsie agreement so he was not aware of teh details of the grievance etc)
So get the lawyer in early!

TreeFuTastic Tue 25-Sep-12 14:50:28

Can anyone recommend a good employment lawyer in West London, South Bucks or East Berks? Please can you PM me if you know of one. Thanks!

WipsGlitter Tue 25-Sep-12 20:46:34

They will not offer a compromise at this stage. it took me weeks of wrangling to get my offer increased. Ask to see the selection criteria for redundancy.

hermioneweasley Tue 25-Sep-12 20:54:06

How many redundancies are being proposed. Is "at risk" the start of consultation, or has there been consultation and now your role is def going or you have been selected?

TreeFuTastic Wed 26-Sep-12 14:06:52

I have asked to see the selection criteria but they seem to be scrabbling around to provide an answer. I asked for this info last week and still don't have an answer. Which doesn't seem right. If I was the hr manager the first thing I would want to see from any business head approaching me to make one of their staff redundant is a cast iron business case and documented details of the selection procedure. But maybe that's just me...

They say there have been a dozen redundancies so far and have declined to answer whether more are planned.

We are formally at the start of consultation but as I have been put on special leave and the hr manager told me she is 99.9 my role will go, I can be pretty sure they will make me redundant.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Wed 26-Sep-12 15:17:58

Well done for asking for the data - did you do this in writing /email? If not, then sned them an email reminding them what you asked and when you asked for it.. Document everything! They are very likely to make mistakes in the process, so make sure you have it all in witing for the tribunal/to get teh best compromise agreement

TreeFuTastic Wed 26-Sep-12 16:21:30

Yes all done in writing. Reminder sent yesterday.

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