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Help - redundancy advice!

(17 Posts)
LadyGrey66 Thu 30-Nov-17 21:09:32

Evening everyone,

I am looking for any advice about a potential redundancy situation I find myself in. To summarise the key points -

1. I work in a team of five, comprised of two senior managers, and three more junior level project managers (including me). Due to a restructure and the need to make cost savings, we were all put at risk of redundancy three weeks ago.
2. A 'suitable alternative' role was identified for the junior project managers, and we were told if we didn't apply we would not receive any redundancy payment. Therefore we all applied.
3. Interviews for this role were carried out this week, and the two other junior members of staff have been told today they have not been successful. I am expecting to be told I have been unsuccessful during a meeting with my interviewer tomorrow.

We have a relatively new director to our team, and it feels like he's using this opportunity to manage us out and replace us with preferred external candidates. My question is, if I am unsuccessful, will I still be entitled to redundancy payment given that I have been provided with the opportunity to apply for a suitable alternative role? The company is refusing to confirm any details until next week, and I'm just trying to gauge where I stand. I have 2.5 years service so redundancy will be small, but it's the principle.

Thanks in advance!

flowery Fri 01-Dec-17 08:40:44

Why do you think you won't be successful? If there is one role, the company has deemed it to be a suitable alternative and the other two candidates were unsuccessful, surely you will be successful.

If not, and the company has said it's a suitable alternative, then I'd suggest arguing unfair dismissal. At least one of you ought to get the role! And the other two be entitled to redundancy pay.

Either that, or it is not a suitable alternative at all, in which case you would all be entitled to redundancy pay.

NewtsSuitcase Fri 01-Dec-17 08:43:15

I agree with Flowery. If the role has been determined to be so similar to your existing role that it is "suitable alternative employment" (which is the only way in which you wouldn't be eligible for redundancy pay) then I'm struggling to see how you could be unsuccessful!

LadyGrey66 Fri 01-Dec-17 15:23:51

I have had the meeting with the director this morning, and he confirmed that I have been unsuccessful. He said that the role is not a good fit for me, as it is a sideways step and prior to being put 'at risk', I had expressed my wish to progress my career into a management position. He said that the decision is not related to my performance in my current role, and described me as competent and able.

The other two candidates were given general reasons for not being successful, not related to performance in their current roles or at interview. The position has been advertised both internally and externally, and he implied the final decision as to who will fill the role will be made today.

We are most definitely being 'managed out' to make way for the director's preferred candidates - is this even legal?!

daisychain01 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:27:54

He said that the role is not a good fit for me, as it is a sideways step and prior to being put 'at risk', I had expressed my wish to progress my career into a management position. He said that the decision is not related to my performance in my current role, and described me as competent and able

He doesn't get to dictate to you that it isn't in line with your career aspirations, what's to say that you haven't changed those aspirations since the last time you spoke. Stating you're qualified for the role, he's shit himself in the foot there!

Lots of people choose to take a sideways or downward move rather than redundancy, especially if the value of maintaining continuity of employment (and benefits such as a good quality pension scheme) is greater compared to a low redundancy and having to find a new job.

daisychain01 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:28:45

Oops epic typo there grin blush shot

LadyGrey66 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:39:00

Thanks daisy. Shit would have been pretty funny grin. It's left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth, but I'm trying to stay positive.

If I hadn't got the role, but one of my colleagues had, I would say they were being fair. As it is, the entire existing team is being made redundant, with new replacements being brought in to fill 'new' roles that are nearly identical in job spec to the existing roles. It just doesn't seem right to me?

daisychain01 Sat 02-Dec-17 05:16:24

Can you gather some tangible proof eg a role spec of the "new" role, to compare to your own role spec. Sounds typical of a "new broom" management bringing in their own crew. It seems to happen a lot nowadays, but can be tricky to prove which is why they get away with it.

Have they actually served your redundancy yet?. Sit tight and wait until they play their next hand.

flowery Sat 02-Dec-17 11:22:23

The fact that a vacancy is a “sideways step” doesn’t make it unsuitable in terms of an alternative to redundancy, quite the opposite. If the role was a step up, they could easily say it’s not suitable and make you redundant. Suitable alternative means suitable for your skills and experience and on the same or no less favourable terms and conditions.

If this role is vacant and is suitable, then by recruiting externally rather than offering you/one of your colleagues at least a trial period, that sounds like unfair dismissal to me.

What do you want out of this OP?

LadyGrey66 Sun 03-Dec-17 00:44:20

Thanks for your posts daisy and flowery.

To be honest, I'm not 100% sure what I want from this at this stage. The company has a fairly unpleasant culture, so to leave will not be a hardship from a personal perspective. BUT I feel aggrieved that the process is being used to make competent people in almost identical roles redundant so the newly appointed director can appoint his preferred candidates. Essentially I'd like to understand if what they are doing is illegal and follow any recourse I have from there.

daisychain01 Sun 03-Dec-17 07:31:00

Albeit the circumstances you describe do not give me a good impression that they are playing an even handed game, if you don't intend to stay there, you'd be opening a can of worms you can't do anything with, if you try to take issue with them.

OK you could create such an issue that they are forced to appoint you in the role, but if this new boss doesn't actually want you, you could find him making your life difficult and uncomfortable instead. Not a good option, in my view.

glow1984 Sun 03-Dec-17 07:34:20

I have just gone through a redundancy process , and I can tell you that most of the time, alternatives are only suggested because they have to do it by law. I suggest you just accept redundancy and move on with your life. You will get redundancy pay. I’m sure what they’re doing is legal. You can apply for a job; they don’t have to offer it to you if there are candidates just as, or more, suitable.

daisychain01 Sun 03-Dec-17 07:43:17

If you did feel so strongly and wanted to take recourse as you stated above, you'd need to take out a Grievance. You'd firstly have to wait and see if your redundancy is a reality, as without that, it will weaken your case considerably as they could back pedal and say you've misconstrued the situation.

You'd need to state your concerns about the way the situation has been handled, and in the light of your redundancy, you believe you've been unfairly dismissed because you challenge that the situation is not one of redundant roles, but more about removing long standing employees from role, and replacing them with new recruits as per a decision made by Mr Nasty Boss.

WiseDad Sun 03-Dec-17 07:49:37

Just a quick one from me. Are they offering legal minima or something higher? I ask as starting a discussion on the evidence base with HR prior to acceptance might yield a more attractive offer. Ifs it's legal minima they are offering at the outset you have very little to loose from making a bit of a fuss (emphasis on bit rather than fuss by the way).

Rationale is that if they are bending/breaking the law then tribunal costs to defend are way more than just an uplift for securing your goodwill on departure.

As a prior poster asks. What do you want? That's the most important part and tbh it sounds like you don't want to stay but want the employer to treat you properly. Admirable and the less you have to loose through redundancy the more you have to gain by making an unfair dismissal claim.

WiseDad Sun 03-Dec-17 07:52:25

Oh and sorry to hear that you have to go through this. Happens a lot nowadays. Chin up. Smart capable people always win out in the end, and your desire to progress probably puts you in the winner camp even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

The story sounds dodgy as hell but without details we can't see.

Are they offering to pay a solicitor as part of the compromise agreement or is it straight terms? If the former you can try to get an uplift on fees from Hr as the case is complex.

daisychain01 Sun 03-Dec-17 07:55:40

But, glow, if this Boss is recruiting externally when there are already incumbents in-situ doing the role and the role specs are the same or very similar, that is definitely not the same as the role being eliminated, and a new vacancy being created for a different role with different skills.

The Boss is playing the system but as I suggest upthread, the onus is on LadyGrey to prove all this.

bookgirl1982 Sun 03-Dec-17 08:05:18

It doesn't sound like a genuine redundancy, and if you are capable of doing the other role it should have been offered to you. Take careful notes of all conversations, and I'd suggest speaking to ACAS about your options.

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