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Redundancy situation

(9 Posts)
Hedidwhat Thu 09-Jun-16 19:19:00

Hi just after someone else's perspective on this as it has been on my mind for weeks now and not sure how clearly I am seeing things anymore.

I work for a company that works over 2 sites, one an hour from where I live and one over 2 hours away. Usually I work at the closer one but have been temporarily based at the further one for the last year or so getting paid travel expenses and given additional travelling time.

Recently my department had been restructured and I have been told I will be based at further site permanently and extra expenses and travel will stop in a years time. This will mean a large chunk of my p/t salary will go on travel and I won't be able to get back in time to collect my children from after school club etc so basically it is impossible for me to continue with these new arrangements. Ideally I would be based at the closer site and travel to the further one, with expenses as necessary.

I have spoken to my Union and have been advised I have a case for redundancy but I would only consider this as a last resort. I have tried to resolve this with my line manager and his boss but they are digging their heels insisting I need to be at the further site even though a lot of my job just requires a computer and desk. I have not been able to get a compelling reason from them why they feel this one sticking point is so important. Other colleagues doing the same jobs as each other are based over two different sites.

I am the only one in the business who does my job and it is one which doesn't bring profit directly to the business but is more a support role. I believe it is valued by many of my colleagues. In the past I have had to work in different areas as priorities changed but I always expressed a desire to complete various projects that had been pending for ages. There has been a lot of nodding and smiling but no change of direction for me and I believe important tasks have been let slide.

Various things have been said over the weeks that have lead me to believe that my line manager's boss would rather my role did not exist at all and was carried out by others. He has called the tasks I want to do a 'luxury', suggested I might do other roles not at all in my skill set and been obscurely stubborn about the geographical location when he hadn't been with anyone else. Initially my role was totally left out of the new structure and it was only when myself and another colleague went to speak to him was it reinstated. He claims it is because I didn't mention it initially but surely he wouldn't just forget about it, especially as he professes to believe how important it all is.

I have resigned myself to taking redundancy or even moving on if it came to it but p/t jobs in my discipline are hard to come by and I enjoy my job. It just seems very manipulative and devious on his part and although I have no proof I am convinced in my own mind this is what is going on.

I guess I am asking if there is anything I can do with my suspicions without making things worse for me? It has been suggested I go to boss's boss to update him but how much to say? And will it make it look as if I am going behind boss's back?

Sorry for the epic post- hope it made sense!

Hedidwhat Fri 10-Jun-16 06:52:59


I think what is really bothering me is that it is a deliberate attempt to create a new structure by forcing me out as there is no way they would be able to do it in an above board way.

Can I do anything about it?

BikeRunSki Fri 10-Jun-16 07:12:59

I sympathise, but companies can and do restructure, move base, move teams to different base locations, change roles. I'm not an employment lawyer or HR specialist, but I'm not sure that are doing anything wrong. It sounds like there has been plenty of consultation on this. Are you in a union? Or could you seek advise from Acas?

I've undergone 3 compulsory office moves in my career. 2 led to me ultimately leaving the company. With the most recent I have adapted to go with it, as I love my job in a very niche field. Admittedly, it's not 2 hrs away, but is over an hour+ 15 min walk from nearest feasible parking. Previously it was 30 mins to an office with a big, free car park.

ChickadeeChick Fri 10-Jun-16 07:20:22

They recently closed our local office and moved to another location an hour and 45 mins from last office (but only an hour and 15 from my house)
They based me from home and I go to the new office once a week but claim travel and also start late and finish early due to travel and the fact I have to drop off and pick up my DD from nursery.
Could you do your role at home? Could you suggest as an option to avoid redundancy?
If the new office doesn't work for you and you cannot work from home I don't think you have much choice other than take redundancy.
If you feel that it is unfair and have proof that your manager is pushing you out though you should go and see a solicitor for advice as you might be able to take them to court. Could top up your redundancy and keep you going while you find something new! If they're a big firm they will probably just pay you off if it goes as far as court.
Will you just get statutory redundancy or are they offering a good package already?

Hedidwhat Fri 10-Jun-16 10:22:57

I have made the suggestion that I could be based at the closer location which I feel is reasonable but they (line manager) is adamant it is a 'no'. When pushed for a reason why as I could do my job from anywhere he had nothing very convincing. I could not work from home as it is not encouraged for my pay grade.

I have no idea what kind of redundancy I would be entitled to as it hasn't yet got that far. My employer would be very against paying anything and would really try to find a solution so this gives me hope as the most obvious and easy solution is that I work from my original location. Everyone else during the restructure had a choice of location and efforts were made to accommodate them.

If I hadn't already worked there quite happily for 10 years before things might be different but I really feel it is a way to get rid of me. It has even been suggested I go for other vacancies none of which I have any experience in.

As I said I have no proof except what knowledge I have of my boss's attitude to my specialism and how it should fit in the structure. Across the industry it is common to have someone as a stand alone on my role so we are not unusual in that.

ChickadeeChick Sun 12-Jun-16 22:49:17

Have you got a HR department you could speak to? They need valid reasons as to why you need to move offices if the closer one is remaining open and you can do your job from anywhere. Sounds really dodgy to me, I don't think it's likely that your line manager will get away with it.

Rockchick1984 Mon 13-Jun-16 19:55:36

What does your contract say about your location? In all honesty I'd be worried that the fact you've worked at the further office for the past year would be setting a precedent and could be reasonably assumed that you can continue to work there.

Julieb85 Mon 13-Jun-16 20:07:19

I work in HR and unfortunately I can see only 3 options for you. A change of location will need to go through as a change to contractual terms - which means there is a 90 day consultation process they need to go through with you. In the end you can either 1. Accept the change to terms and move to new office 2. Negotiate with the union and company a severance package (which isn't always required). Failure to accept a change in terms and conditions could ultimately result in you effectively resigning from your position, however the company need to show they have made every attempt to support you in the change. If this happened you could go for constructive dismissal if you have enough evidence. The good thing is you have a trade union to support you...use them to get the guidance and the support you need. Good luck!

Hedidwhat Fri 17-Jun-16 12:52:29

Sorry a bit late back to this thread, thanks for all the responses. I am currently trying to set up a meeting with HR and the union so will keep fighting it but yo be honest am thinking about moving on now anyway. I can't work somewhere where I know they want to get rid of me.

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