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Redundant no consultation

(54 Posts)
footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 08:44:23

After 9 years with a business, I've been told my role is redundant and offered a settlement agreement.
I'm devastated as I love my job and colleagues, it works with the kids' school times, I've given my heart and soul and am currently TTC so need the maternity pay.
I was in shock when I was told (just called into a meeting) and just accepted what was happening. Was then sent the offer by email but haven't yet responded.
I haven't agreed to anything, it's just so sudden but everyone's been told I've gone and a new structure announced that I'm not in.
Can they do this? I thought I had to be offered other job options (which I'd take just for the maternity) but don't know if this is different because they've offered settlement.
I will see a solicitor but money is already right so a bit worried about spending.
Any help would be great. Thanks

pelirocco123 Sat 02-Mar-19 08:51:06

Yes they have to consult ,and consider other roles and you have the right to appeal their decision .consult ACAS

mintbiscuit Sat 02-Mar-19 08:59:04

They don’t have to offer other roles. However, you are eligible to apply for other vacancies in the company. Although no guarantee of the role (you would go through recruitment process like any other person).

I think a Consultation period is also not required if the number of redundancies is over a certain number (20 roles). Some companies do follow a consultation period where it is less than that but is up to their discretion. Is yours the only role in the company being made redundant?

JenniferJareau Sat 02-Mar-19 09:00:35

I assume you are the only one in your particular role?

footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 09:04:44

Thanks for your help. 5 people being made redundant but all do separate roles (within the same function). I can understand the role being redundant but I think there's other roles I could do which hasn't been mentioned at all. Now restructure is announced and it's been said that we're leaving the business, it feels very final. And this is all before I've agreed anything.

prh47bridge Sat 02-Mar-19 09:06:31

In normal circumstances the previous poster would be correct. However, as they have offered a settlement agreement, the previous poster is wrong.

A settlement agreement is a way of getting rid of a member of staff without needing to follow any process. In essence, they are offering you money in return for which you will agree not to bring a tribunal claim against them for their failure to follow the redundancy process (or, indeed, on any other grounds).

You will need legal advice. It is in their interests that you get legal advice as, without it, the settlement agreement is not enforceable. It is therefore normal for the employer to pay the employee's costs. Check that they will do this.

Their current offer is probably relatively low. They should expect to pay more than that. Your solicitor will negotiate on your behalf and advise you what a reasonable offer would look like. You should end up with significantly more than statutory redundancy pay but less than you might get if you go to tribunal. The advantage of a settlement agreement from your point of view is that it takes away the stress and uncertainty of a tribunal case where there is always a possibility you will lose.

Bluntness100 Sat 02-Mar-19 09:06:34

How many people are being made redundant and how long have you worked there.

Less than twenty redundancies they only have to consult with the individual which is a meeting to allow you to ask questions. If there are other suitable roles they must consider you for them, which is not the same as giving you the role.

prh47bridge Sat 02-Mar-19 09:09:41

I note that I have cross-posted with others. People are piling on offering advice about the redundancy process. Whilst they are correct about how redundancy is supposed to work, as they have offered a settlement agreement their advice is irrelevant. A settlement agreement, if you accept it, means that the employer does not have to follow any process.

As they have offered a settlement agreement and told other staff you have left, they clearly want you out. There is nothing to be gained by trying to make them follow the redundancy process. The settlement agreement is almost certainly your best option at this stage. But not the agreement that is on the table. Get legal advice.

Bluntness100 Sat 02-Mar-19 09:10:58

I'm not sure what Prh is talking about, it's far from normal for an employer to play your legal costs, that's on the individual and a settlement agreement is how most companies go, even with legal advice you should not expect more than the legal requirement unless something is amiss,

But if a silly post there. Consultation is one to one with five positions going, and is an opportunity for you to ask questions, in addition, they do not have to offer you another job, but should consider it.

Are you saying there is vacancies you're skilled for and they are not considering you ?

footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 09:12:11

Thanks prh47bridge that's really helpful. The thing I find most confusing is that they can just avoid the process with this agreement- should I then be negotiating the settlement agreement figure to be representative of the fact they've basically dismissed me unfairly or is that irrelevant because they are offering settlement to avoid a fair redundancy process?
Hope that makes sense, I'm very confused!

Bluntness100 Sat 02-Mar-19 09:14:15

A settlement agreement, if you accept it, means that the employer does not have to follow any process

Why are you posting this nonsense? A settlement agreement is at the end of the process. I work for a large multi national, we follow the process to the letter and then some, and at the end follow process.

There is no formal process with five employees, they just need to consult one to one and consider her for other roles, if they deem she is not suitable, then ensure she gets what she is legally and contractually due, ie notice period and stat pay, and signing a settlement agreement is the norm,

footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 09:18:55

Hi bluntness, I haven't been consulted though or considered for other roles. The decision on restructuring has been made without process. I've just been offered settlement which seems to fit with what bridge says about not having to follow process for settlement?

mintbiscuit Sat 02-Mar-19 09:19:30

@prh47bridge I hadn’t realised this about a settlement. Does the employer have to specifically state that the offer is a settlement vs it being referred to as redundancy pay? Does the employer also have to make it clear that they are not following due process by doing this?

Genuinely interested!

Helpmedecide123 Sat 02-Mar-19 09:21:49

ACAS guidance:

footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 09:24:58

Thanks helpmedecide. I'm fairly clear on redundancy and that they've definitely not followed that process. Where I'm confused is that they've not pretended to follow that process and is that ok because they've offered settlement or can I negotiate more settlement because they haven't followed redundancy process.

leghairdontcare Sat 02-Mar-19 09:33:58

I was in shock when I was told (just called into a meeting) and just accepted what was happening

Have you informed your employers that you do not want to accept the settlement agreement and you wish to apply for an alternative role?

There's no formal process for them to follow if there's only 5 people being made redundant apart from giving you the statutory notice and pay. Why do you think the haven't followed it?

footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 10:34:18

I haven't responded with anything yet - this only happened on Thursday evening. From what I've read, even for 5 redundancies there should be a consultation meeting where I can bring someone along and propose other options to redundancy. Thanks

ChicCroissant Sat 02-Mar-19 10:41:50

With a compromise agreement, it is entirely normal for the employer to pay the legal costs of the employee to have someone look over the agreement (former HR worker here) and this sounds very similar so I'd say prh is right there. Also, it would be usual for a compromise agreement to agree a form of wording for a reference from your former employer, so I would mention this too.

Sorry OP, it must have come as a bit of a shock to you. Are the other employees affected happy to be going? Is it the potential loss of maternity pay that is also an issue, it will affect your plans going forward?

titchy Sat 02-Mar-19 10:50:04

* it's far from normal for an employer to play your legal costs*

When they offer a compromise agreement it is very normal for them to pay reasonable legal costs - equivalent to say a couple of hours.

Follow prh's advice OP, he's a solicitor, ignore the others.

titchy Sat 02-Mar-19 10:52:57

Also you are in a strong position here. They've publicly announced your redundancy (fools!), so won't want to look like idiots by you rejecting the agreement and forcing them through a consultation. Which means you can demand a decent payment. But let a solicitor do the negotiating for you.

Tomtontom Sat 02-Mar-19 10:54:23

I'm pretty certain @prh47bridge is legally qualified, her advice on employment law matters is always spot on. This is not (at this stage) a redundancy situation.

A settlement agreement is an agreement between employer and employee to end the working relationship without further legal formalities, and without recourse to an employment tribunal. It's usually more generous than a redundancy package, and it is the norm that the employer pays your legal costs (many solicitors will offer a fixed cost service within the specified limit).

Do you know how much they are offering OP, and how that compares to if it was a redundancy situation?

footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 10:56:19

Thanks all, really appreciate the help! I will get a solicitor's appointment for Monday and hopefully they can advise what I'm entitled to.

Chic - there's a mix of responses really. The feeling of rejection is awful when it's a big company and you know they could find a role if the my really wanted to! I am worried about maternity because of length of service required at a new job but I suppose if I can get a decent payout, this will help. Thanks for asking.

ScreamingValenta Sat 02-Mar-19 10:57:10

My employer will pay legal costs for advice relating to a settlement agreement - I think this is common - so definitely ask about this. Are you in a union - if you are, get onto them for advice too.

footballmumhum Sat 02-Mar-19 10:59:04

Thank you.
Tom - Offer is a bit more than statutory but not much.

Tomtontom Sat 02-Mar-19 11:03:24

Certainly worth negotiating then, but keep in mind that if you did refuse it and go to consultation you may end up with no job and a lower payment. It's finding a balance between the two, which a solicitor can help you do. Good luck.

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