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Redundancy and working notice period

(11 Posts)
MonaMckenzie Mon 03-Apr-17 09:44:31

My position has been made redundant as the shop I work in has closed down. I am having trouble getting advice on if I need to work my notice period or not - hopefully someone here can point me in the right direction!

There are three members of the team who have over 2 years length of service and therefore qualify for a redundancy payout and also an extended notice period. One had 6 years service, one 7 and I have 10. Only I have been requested to work my notice period - the others are being paid in lieu of notice.
They were both given their official notice of redundancy one week before I was given mine so they will be paid for two weeks, and three weeks, while I will have to work in a different store (in a different location) for the next seven weeks.

My company have made some concessions to the additional travelling that I will have to do - they are paying for all of my travel and my travelling time will be included in my working day. It is an additional 30 minute commute each way to the new store.

I have raised a grievance with my company for the following points:
- Increased travelling time
- Different job role within a franchised store
- Treated differently to colleagues

They have found that they are not being unreasonable because:
- The travelling time is not a big increase, and they are paying for the travel
- They amended the job role that they initially wanted me to do to carefully reflect my current roles and responsibilities
- They claim that they can ask me to work my notice period in another store because I am management and the other team members are not.

I have been to CAB who referred me to an employment law charity. I did a phone consultation with them but now have heard nothing for two weeks.

Does anyone have any advice, or has been in a similar situation? I am obviously happy to work my notice period, but I am not happy with the conditions that they have proposed. I'm finding the travelling especially difficult as I am 8 weeks pregnant.

ExplodedCloud Mon 03-Apr-17 09:50:27

Have you seen a solicitor to check your redundancy paperwork? That might be an idea.
I was asked to carry on working through a horrible redundancy situation and I used my solicitor to argue that the stress of my particular situation was unreasonable and that whilst I am an honest type I was worried that any genuine mistake could later be perceived as malicious and affect my professional reputation.

LIZS Mon 03-Apr-17 09:52:46

Try acas but I think yes they can insist on you working your notice. Check you contract re. Pilon but it is usually discretionary.

peukpokicuzo Mon 03-Apr-17 09:59:18

It's quite a lot of notice to work but is it possible that they are hoping that during the coming 9 weeks someone in a nearby store might resign/announce an impending maternity leave and they might be able to offer you a new position?

Jobhunting can be a full time job if you do it right. Could you try asking for reduced hours during the notice period to allow you time for jobhunting?

MonaMckenzie Mon 03-Apr-17 10:19:28

Thanks for your advice! It's helpful just to talk it over.

I haven't seen a solicitor - I don't have one and have never used one. I'm a bit intimidated! Do you just use google to find one? I'm a bit clueless.

They had agreed to reduced hours verbally, but are refusing to put that in writing. I don't trust them and am worried they will turn around and say I haven't turned up to work on the days we have verbally agreed I can have off. I don't want to lose my redundancy payout!

PILON is discretionary in my contract, but I don't really understand why they have paid it to two team members but not to me. Well, I understand because my payment is considerably more - but surely that's not fair?

ExplodedCloud Mon 03-Apr-17 11:04:46

I had a recommendation from a friend so I can't help with finding one but your employer should pay something towards you getting legal advice.
It wasn't scary or intimidating either. Nice chap. Went through everything. Set out my options and backed me up smile
We've since run other employment stuff past him and it's been very much worth it.

flowery Mon 03-Apr-17 12:30:45

"your employer should pay something towards you getting legal advice. "

Nope.

Your employer is perfectly within their rights to make you work your notice. If they are paying for the travel costs and also allowing you to travel within the working day that's perfectly reasonable as well. How much total commute are we now talking, if it's an extra 30 minutes?

Why are you finding the travelling difficult being 8 weeks pregnant?

It's also perfectly fine to handle notice differently for different people, unless there is a discriminatory reason for the different treatment. If you are management and the other team members are not, that's perfectly acceptable. I expect your contract says they can require you to work in another store, whereas the non-management staff contract probably doesn't.

You might prefer to be paid in lieu of notice but just because they do it for some doesn't mean they have to do it for everyone I'm afraid. You've raised a grievance about it (did you not ask the question in a more informal manner first?), and they've responded, addressing your concerns.

Unless you have reason to think they are making you work your notice because you are pregnant or for some other protected reason, you need to let this go and focus on getting through the next few weeks and finding something else, rather than getting into a dispute you won't win.

MonaMckenzie Mon 03-Apr-17 14:40:24

Thank you flowery that is exactly the kind of straight talking advice I needed!

I have raised the issue informally several times, but as I said each time we came to an agreement my boss refused to put it in writing.

I know they are entitled to make me work my notice, I'm happy to do so (not entirely happy about the conditions, but as I said they are making steps to ease this for me) I just wanted to establish if I had been treated fairly.

I'm finding the commute a struggle as it is a hour and a half on the train, during peak morning sickness time. It's not nice!

It's a pretty sour note to leave a company, but you are right - I need to put my head down and get these 7 weeks over with.

flowery Mon 03-Apr-17 16:30:08

Well, there's a difference between being treated unfairly and being treated unlawfully. Something which is unfair may or may not also be unlawful, depending on what it is and on the reasons for it.

I'm sure your employer would much rather you all three work your notice periods, but the fact that they can't make your colleagues do so because of the nature of their jobs/contracts doesn't mean they don't have to make you do so. Sometimes life isn't fair, and it just sucks. Being management has some perks, like higher pay and more control, but this is one of the downsides I guess.

7 weeks will go quickly. Each day you get through is one day less. Make sure you take paid time off for job hunting as you are entitled to do, which includes seeing agencies etc.

If you are literally being sick (rather than just feeling a bit rubbish) during your morning commute, go and see your doctor and see what he/she has to say about whether you are fit to work in those circumstances. Morning sickness affects people in different ways. I just felt nauseous, but my SIL was throwing up regularly, and the train would not have been an option for her - fortunately she drove to work so became adept at vomiting at traffic lights etc

Hope you find something soon and start to feel better as well.

LIZS Mon 03-Apr-17 16:34:39

Are you due any leave which could reduce either the weeks or number of days per week you work, or would you prefer to reserve it and be paid in lieu?

DelphiniumBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 16:37:15

Does your contact say that you can be made to work in a different store? Check it and see. It might even refer to distance.

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