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made redundant in shock

(74 Posts)
LadyRataxes Tue 08-Mar-16 14:57:25

I was called into a 1-1 meeting with my manager today and told i was being made redundant. Officially i am at risk- have two weeks to find internal job (they've told me there are none) and then get severance.
My firm (ex firm) is big city firm - my understanding is that they don't follow statutory rules but effectively pay enough to get out of it. If i sign the letter i can't claim unfair dismissal etc.

I am in shock - although as i have been asking my managers for more work for years and i know they are trying to promote the person below me and they are making general cuts i shouldn't be...

however - i don't know how to go about arguing the severance - it appears too little (i don't think i can force them to keep me - i just want to be paid enough) - how much should i expect?
they have told me I can discuss the severance with solicitors and have given me a list - but i don't know what to ask.

Emotionally I am a mess - i had an early miscarriage at the weekend and the two things combined are horrible (i was ok with the miscarriage as we were just going to try again but now...); i am the sole breadwinner. it feels like last week I was looking forward to a baby/long paid maternity leave which would give me some distance from the office and safety net - and now...

what else should i be thinking of?

AnotherEmma Tue 08-Mar-16 15:02:19

Sorry, OP. I was made redundant when I wasn't expecting it and it was a horrible shock. I'm not the main breadwinner either and I imagine that adds to the pressure.

Given that your employer is trying to break the law by not following the correct redundancy procedure, I strongly advise you to get expert advice from CAB and/or ACAS and/or a solicitor with experience in employment law. If you're a member of a union you could also talk to them.

How long have you been working for them? That's important - if you've been there for more than 2 years you will have more rights.

AnotherEmma Tue 08-Mar-16 15:09:52

Oh and DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING until you've had legal advice!

Some links for you:

LadyRataxes Tue 08-Mar-16 15:16:40

I've been there 12 years.
They can do it as far as i understand it - they basically i think pay to make it not worthwhile suing them for unfair dismissal (that and the unwritten rule that you'll never work in the City again..) - I just need to understand what the real legal process/statutory pay out would be compared to what they have offered me.
I need to know how much they will go up to (in terms of weeks pay) but because they make everyone sign the agreements no-one can speak about it
I just need to get my head round all the things i need to sort out and i can't because i keep bursting into tears.

AnotherEmma Tue 08-Mar-16 15:19:31

Can you take a rain check today? Just go home to your partner, lots of hugs and a cry? Then look at the numbers tomorrow. CAB can work it out for you but I'm guessing you're more than capable of working it out for yourself with a clear head. However it might save time to talk to them, especially if they have an employment specialist.

AnotherEmma Tue 08-Mar-16 15:33:41

Right, I've looked into it... (I'm procrastinating!)

You can find out your statutory redundancy pay using this calculator:
(See what it says, but I think you should get 12 weeks pay at a max of £475/week)

If you take them to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, you would get a basic award of 12 weeks pay (weekly max of £464) plus compensation for loss of earnings - the max is £74k but you would have to ask an employment specialist how much you would be likely to get. You would have to pay tribunal fees of £1200. Obviously you would need to know what the compensation might be to work out whether that would be worth it.

FishWithABicycle Tue 08-Mar-16 15:38:29

Your statutory redundancy pay would probably be circa £5,700 assuming you currently earn more than £24.7kpa and that's 12 full years rather than 11 years 10 months ish and taking a guess that you were over the age of 22 but under 29 when you started.

You are entitled to:
0.5 weeks pay for each full year worked aged less than 22.
1 weeks pay for each full year worked aged between 22 and 41.
1.5 weeks pay for each full year worked aged over 41.

It is only redundancy if the work you have been doing isn't going to get done any more. If they employ someone else to do it once you are gone then they are being distinctly dodgy.

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Tue 08-Mar-16 15:40:04

Oh you poor thing. Take a look at the government calculator to see the minimum you would be entitled to for redundancy, as a starting point:

With them telling you to take legal advice it sounds as if they may be looking at a settlement agreement which, as you say, means basically paying you enough that you sign away rights for a tribunal claim. Please do take some legal advice. It may be worth thinking as a starting point about any reasons you feel this may be unsound as a redundancy ... I guess, are they just approaching it this way for a security/ease angle as some companies do, or are there any reasons to think this is not a genuine redundancy situation / you have not been fairly selected? As this would increase your bargaining power at the table.

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Tue 08-Mar-16 15:40:44

I am so slow at typing!

GahBuggerit Tue 08-Mar-16 17:43:39

sounds like they have offered you a settlement agreement if they have given you a list of sols. have you had any paperwork? usually would be for a fair bit more than stat redundancy

GahBuggerit Tue 08-Mar-16 17:45:56

oooh they arent doihg it cos you are now a pregnancy risk have they? did they know?

ArgyMargy Tue 08-Mar-16 17:54:02

Offering you statutory redundancy pay is not "paying out enough so they can break the rules". I would expect them to be offering a hell of a lot more than statutory - at least 4 weeks equivalent pay for each year plus pay in lieu of notice (what is your notice period?). Also additional payments for holiday not yet taken and pro rata bonus entitlement (if you normally get an annual bonus). If they want you to sign a severance agreement they should be offering to cover the cost of discussing this with a solicitor (around £250+VAT).

Are you the only person being made redundant or is there a group of you? If there are a certain number of positions being cut there are rules around consultation periods which they cannot ignore without breaking the law.

LadyRataxes Tue 08-Mar-16 18:00:39

sorry- they have offered me more than statutory. Its more a negotiation question of how to get more in the settlement - i've been talking it over with my partner and i think that if it was more i would feel i had some breathing space to decide what i want to do - i've been unhappy for ages - but as it is I feel the pressure to get another job ASAP. I am just crap at these kind of discussions.
Bizarrely they have just increased the consultation period - mainly as i said i emotionally/physically wasn't able to use it and was worried it was so short- this obviously gives me more pay and time .

i just didn't expect the whole thing to be so emotionally- i feel really embarrassed/ashamed- i don't know how to tell people i work with etc- i need to keep relationships professional as i may end up in the same field and its really small.
I also have never had to get a mother job when unemployed before- i haven't ever not had a job- since uni and i am scared

Penfold007 Tue 08-Mar-16 18:13:31

If they are offering you a 'settlement agreement' they are obliged, by law, to pay for you to get independent legal advice. They would be very foolish to get you to sign anything without this legal advice.

Sorry for your loss, what horrible timing.

redhat Tue 08-Mar-16 18:19:46

I'm afraid that they might not have done anything wrong at all (I'm an employment lawyer). It is actually very easy to dismiss someone for redundancy in the space of a week/two weeks since if there are no alternative employment opportunities there isn't really that much to discuss during the consultation period.

They are obliged to give you:

pay and benefits up to the termination date
payment in lieu of any accrued but untaken leave
statutory redundancy
payment in lieu of notice and benefits (in your case 12 weeks unless your contract gives you more).

Other than that you're probably not entitled to anything. I'm afraid those saying you're entitled to more are probably wrong. There is no indication that this is an unfair dismissal. In fact the fact that they've said there is a two week consultation period indicates that its probably fair.

You are not legally able to sign settlement agreement until you've spoken to a solicitor. If you want to PM me I can give you a recommendation in your area.

BarefootAcrossHotLegoPieces Tue 08-Mar-16 18:23:10

They are not obliged to pay for the full cost of legal advice to fight them, though - they may offer to pay for an hour or two of solicitor time to literally talk you through the compromise agreement and what rights you are giving up etc - this will probably not be advice on how to up the settlement offer etc.

stumblymonkey Tue 08-Mar-16 18:24:42

Out of interest...which industry do you work in in The City? Banking? Insurance? Something else?

What consultation period have you been provided with?

Is anyone else being made redundant?

Did they know about your pregnancy?

Does anyone else in the company do the same job as you?

BarefootAcrossHotLegoPieces Tue 08-Mar-16 18:25:20

OP, are there others at your level who are at risk? If there are three associate directors or whatever in your department, then all should be under consideration (redhat, correct me if I'm wrong) and criteria applied to determine selection,

stumblymonkey Tue 08-Mar-16 18:26:16

I ask as all of these questions are relevant and while I'm not a lawyer I have a fair amount of experience in redundancies in the city (I've been involved in making 100 people redundant in the last two years from a City firm)...

redhat Tue 08-Mar-16 18:28:54

Yes, it is certainly possible that there are issues around selection which would give you the ability to negotiate for more. The thing with selection pools however is that in most cases (not all), as long as the employer can explain their rationale for why the pool is made up in the way it is, a tribunal will accept that explanation. Similarly, a tribunal will not look behind the redundancy to any great extent. In most cases they don't care whether the employer is making a bad business decision or losing a good person, they only care that the definition is met (essentially that the company will be operating with fewer people performing that role) and that the process is fair.

Obs2016 Tue 08-Mar-16 18:36:51

I am no lawyer, and have no training, but from my very limited knowledge, as others have advised you, from what you've said, whilst this is all very shitty, they have done nothing wrong as such.
There is often room for negotiation on a higher settlement figure, if you have something 'on them'/ they've done wrong, but I'm struggling to see your arguing point here.

se22mother Tue 08-Mar-16 18:47:24

Lady, by any chance does the city firm begin with a B we saw lots of lay offs today. My sympathy anyway, horrible for you

PurplePink Tue 08-Mar-16 18:58:56

Sorry you're in this situation.

I can recommend you a great lawyer who negotiated a brilliant settlement for me when I was leaving a company under a compromise agreement. As a PP said - your company are obliged to pay for you to get legal advice on any agreement they offer you so, despite the fact she was fairly expensive, she negotiated her own payment with them too ;-) PM me if you want details.

redhat Tue 08-Mar-16 19:00:32

Actually the employer isn't obliged to pay for your lawyer (or even make a contribution) but they usually do.

redhat Tue 08-Mar-16 19:01:06

Maske a contribution that is. Generally between 250 and 500 unless there's a reason that the agreement will be particularly complicated.

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