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Redundancy consultation, sounds dodgy. Advice please

(21 Posts)
blueberry1972 Thu 21-Jan-16 19:14:26

Hi, I would really appreciate any advice on this.
Ive worked for the same privately owned company for 17years. Been in various departments over the years, the last 4 of these have been in business development. There is myself and 1 other doing the same role. I have single handedly secured this years new business target. My co-worker is lazy, and was on a performance plan back in the summer. The director we reported to then has since left the company and my co-workers plan fell by the way side.
My new director called me this evening to say that co-worker and I would be going through a consultation period for redundancy. He was letting me know now as it won't be going, and that they'll be manufacturing the situation to let my co-worker go.
I'm feeling pretty miffed that the company is handling the situation in this way?
My consultation is next week.
Is there any advice you wise people can offer me? Please.

Madelinehatter Thu 21-Jan-16 19:18:05

They are acting outside of the law here I think. It is in your favour it seems but they are handling it very badly. I wouldn't trust a company that did this.

If your co worker isn't performing they need to use poor performance procedures to remove them. If it is a genuine redundancy situation they shouldn't be sharing that info about your job with you. Either way it is very poor practice.

blueberry1972 Thu 21-Jan-16 19:45:32

Thank you. You've confirmed exactly what I had hoped.
It's an awful situation for anyone. Because I've been told 'off the record' so to speak, I now feel bound to keep quiet.
I think I will seek some legal advice. Thank you gain for taking the time to reply.

HermioneWeasley Thu 21-Jan-16 21:27:02

I wouldn't bother with legal advice for you - if your not going to be the one who's let go, what would they be advising you on?

redhat Thu 21-Jan-16 21:29:09

How would you benefit from taking legal advice? You're not being dismissed.

In any event I'm sure their version of events would be that actually they told you that you were both at risk but that your colleague has been provisionally selected and as such you will not be taken through the consultation process. Perfectly legitimate when explained that way.

StealthPolarBear Thu 21-Jan-16 21:30:46

They are allowed to select for redundancy based on performance!

BombadierFritz Thu 21-Jan-16 21:36:11

Do nothing sounds a good idea?

CraftyMissus Thu 21-Jan-16 21:50:10

The company I work for has to put all of the staff in a team through three consultation appointments even if they know they're keeping some and dropping others.

This is because they can use the first consultancy appointments to inform you of changes to the business, how they will affect your role and position in the company, and formally inform all staff affected that redundancies are being made in departments and by what day the madness will end.

The second appointment is where my company start asking if you want to stay within the business. If so they will suggest departments if you need to move, or branches with vacancies. Those who decide to leave or aren't being kept are given a summary of help the company can provide, the redundancy entitlements they've earned, how it will affect any holiday they've accrued etc.

The last meeting is used as a final finish, staff leaving are given last bits of paperwork, those staying will have a final chat with area and branch management to outline anything they still need to know about their transfers. Its usually used as a chance for one last team gathering and goodbye too.

As far as I know consultations are actually a requirement even if you know you're being kept - it's done so you know what's going on too. I'm like the grim reaper for the company I work for, I've worked in 4 branches 3 of which have closed, I've been told my job is safe but had to do at least the first consultation every time... My area manager now says she isn't sending me anywhere else because there isn't anywhere left!

blueberry1972 Thu 21-Jan-16 21:50:20

I really appreciate all your advice. You're all right, me taking legal advice would not be beneficial. I'm just annoyed that i feel I've been put in a difficult position, and why couldn't the company go down another route other than redundancy. Despite my co-worker not pulling their weight I do feel sorry for them, in that the company haven't been professional in how they have handled this so far.
I also wish I didn't know that I had been pre-selected.
I will keep all this up my sleeve for if ever the shoe is on the other foot.
Thank you again.

RNBrie Thu 21-Jan-16 21:54:26

It's a shitty situation. Although it will work out better for your colleague as they'll get a redundancy package rather than just being fired for poor performance (assuming they've been there for over two years)

I just can't believe they told you. I guess they're worried you'd find something better and leave. Maybe you should think about doing that anyway...

blueberry1972 Thu 21-Jan-16 21:55:20

Craftymissis it sounds like your company do things properly. So is it above board for 2 members of staff to enter a redundancy consultancy, one knowing they will be kept and the other (not knowing) they will be gone?

blueberry1972 Thu 21-Jan-16 21:58:40

RNBrie thank you and I think you're right about going and finding something better.

Without wanting to out myself, the company I work for is wholly owned by a woman, who is the founder of the business and a big ambassador of working mothers. My co-worker is male. I think this might have something to do with it too.

CraftyMissus Thu 21-Jan-16 22:51:29

The company I work for don't tell everyone whose safe straight away but you get to figure it out. We work in fairly small teams and very close knit (at the first branch I worked in there were only 7 of us) so we can usually read each others faces and know what's going on.

My employers theory about putting everyone through at least the first stage is that it means everyone knows what's going on and can allow for atmosphere at work, it also means someone can volunteer to step up to speak when customers get moody.

You tell customers a branch is going and their first thought is where do I do my shopping, not are all the girls safe from redundancy. The complaints they can come out with can be hard to cope with.

redhat Fri 22-Jan-16 07:54:21

I am an employment lawyer (I believe Hermione might be too). It depends on how they put this but if they said in the way I outlined in my earlier post there is nothing wrong here.

Crafty is wrong about everyone having to go through the process I'm afraid. I don't mean to sound mean but on these threads you always get people coming on and saying "they're supposed to do x" just because that was once their experience in a prior role or because their next door neighbour's cousin said so. With respect, that doesn't mean that experience reflects the law.

They have two employees. One is crap and not performing and as a result they have realised they can actually do the work with just one employee. That's redundancy. They have a need for fewer employees to perform the work they have.

If they dismissed the colleague but then went on to hire someone else to do the work then it wouldn't have been a redundancy and the dismissed employee would probably have an unfair dismissal claim depending on whether they've been employed for two years. The dismissed employee ought in those circumstances to have been put through a performance management process to dismiss them. In reality however the dismissed employee may well be better off having been made redundant than being put through performance management since they will have taken a redundancy payment (no pay off for performance dismissals). As a result you don't see many people bothering to bring such claims since they'd rather not hand back their redundancy payment thank you very much.

OllyBJolly Fri 22-Jan-16 08:19:26

Jobs are redundant, not people, and your company has decided to get rid of an employee under the mask of redundancy.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies do this. It's quicker and often safer than going down the disciplinary poor performance route. In some ways, it preserves the worker's dignity (better to be redundant than dismissed) and they'll get a payoff but can still be traumatic. Your manager was very wrong to tell you (but I can understand they might not want you to worry)

CraftyMissus Fri 22-Jan-16 08:21:19

You don't sound mean, I only said as far as I know its a requirement because as far as I knew it was. And that thought was not just my experience but also several friends & relatoves in completely separate industries to mine. However I was making my post more to point out that consultation isn't a bad thing (unless you're the one getting the push of course). Some companies put everyone through it so they all know what's going on instead of leaving half a team completely clueless.

DropYourSword Fri 22-Jan-16 08:23:47

They are allowed to select for redundancy based on performance!

I absolutely don't mean this is in a goady way, but why not. Seems to be an entirely sensible reason to base a decision on. Why would a company want to keep a poorer performer?

DropYourSword Fri 22-Jan-16 08:25:07

Oops, ignore me stealthpolarbear

I misread 'are' for 'aren't'.


flowery Fri 22-Jan-16 09:08:55

I'm not sure why you are 'miffed' OP?

It would be naïve to think that in a situation where two people are in a redundancy pool, and one of them has a history of performance concerns, that management don't know before starting the process what the outcome will be. Yes, supposedly they use criteria and score people against them and make the decision that way, but of course in this type of situation they know perfectly well what's going to happen.

What's unprofessional is them telling you that beforehand, but in circumstances where they are planning on dragging someone they value and don't want to lose through a redundancy consultation process, I think it's understandable for a manager to be tempted to reassure that person in advance that they don't have to worry.

Why do you think the fact that your colleague is male is something to do with it? If you are a high performer and are meeting targets by yourself, and your colleague is lazy, a poor performer and (by all accounts) superfluous to requirements, it does sound pretty reasonable for them to make him redundant to be honest.

StealthPolarBear Fri 22-Jan-16 09:27:25

DrOp the myth seems to be along the same lines as you can't be disciplined /fired if you've been genuinely ill.

LittleBearPad Fri 22-Jan-16 10:08:07

I'm not quite sure OP what you are miffed about. There will be a redundancy process. Based on your colleagues performance it wouldn't have been rocket science to know who will go and your manager is trying to make it clear to you that you shouldn't worry. Your colleague will get a tax free payoff (<£30k). If his performance is that poor I doubt his absence will affect your workload.

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