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Career advice please! Just been made redundant whilst ttc#2 - it's a longish one

(17 Posts)
Poncherello Fri 05-Jun-09 09:52:02

Worldly mumsnetter advice needed! ... have been made redundant from full time career job whilst ttc#2. Initial reaction was try and get another job quick as I can.

I know redundancy is sadly becoming an everyday eventuality for so many people and I'm by no means unique but wondered if there'd be some helpful advice out there?

It's dawning on me that working mothers really have a tough deal ... although my redundancy was done 'by the book' it came down to a scoring system which is kept confidential. Performance was top notch, clients and team very happy working with me plus I was delivering financial targets etc.

However, I fear I was pushed out as DD is 20 months old and baby number 2 was likely to be on its way some time soon. Obviously I had not discussed my personal plans with anyone at work.

So ... a few questions ...

1. Should I go for serious career job and risk annoying new employer with longed for pregnancy - who knows how long it could take to conceive?

2. Do I go for short term contracts if they are out there?

3. Do I even mention personal plans to recruitment consultants? Just the fact that this seems like a big no no feels wrong.

4. Or am I in cuckoo land and needs must - go for anything I can?

BUT it begs a bigger question ... what chance do working mothers have? Is there a huge skills gap where professional working mums have to opt out of industry because of redundancy / childcare (particularly for 2 kids) is so expensive vs income?

Most importantly ... what can we do about it?

Thank you for your help!

LeninGrad Fri 05-Jun-09 11:42:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poncherello Fri 05-Jun-09 12:07:27

Thanks Leningrad ... sorry the scoring system results were confidential. The package was fair, over and above statutory which I'm thankful for, was even able to negotiate a bit more.

I finished earlier this week so am free as a bird. I really enjoyed working there and achieved great things with my clients ... I'm sure as time goes on the ties will fade and it'll hurt less.

Meanwhile ... I need to write my cv as have two interviews next week ... gulp ... but don't know how to answer when they ask 'why were you chosen for redundancy?' hmm

LeninGrad Fri 05-Jun-09 12:22:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blueshoes Sat 06-Jun-09 15:57:56

Poncerello, in law, I believe you have a right to consultation meetings with your employer where the criteria has to be explained to you and how it was applied in relation to you. If your employer does not follow procedure (as they do not appear to have), I think it is automatically unfair dismissal.

The damages you can claim against your employer for unfair dismissal would however be related to how long it would take for you to find another job. If you are likely to find another one quickly (you might very well as you already have 2 interviews), say 3 months, then the damages won't exceed 3 months' pay.

This is just for your information to compare against your redundancy package. There is a lot of merit in just taking the money (whatever rights you might have at law), not least so you can move on quickly with minimum stress.

Agree with Leningrad about going for your career and not mentioning family plans. Employers will factor that in anyway, whether you like it or not or was intending to ttc.

blueshoes Sat 06-Jun-09 16:06:36

Poncerello, you also asked: " ... but don't know how to answer when they ask 'why were you chosen for redundancy?'"

Ideally, your ex-employer should have explained the criteria to you, eg whether you were selected out of a pool of persons whose roles were all potentially at risk, or whether you were the only person in a role that was identified as redundant. But since you don't know, then just say that your 'role' was made redundant. Can you come up with a plausible business reason why the role you were performing was superfluous to the company's requirements?

Are you likely to need to furnish references from your old employer? If a prospective employer were to call your reference, what do you think might your reference say about the reason for your redundancy?

dancingqueeen Tue 09-Jun-09 15:55:27

Poncerello, you need to get some advice on how you were made redundant... I'm fairly sure from other people going through redundancies that you have to be given an opportunity to appeal the decision, and therefore you have to be provided with enough information to do so (i.e. the results of the scoring). it doesn't sound to me like proper procedure was followed

Poncherello Tue 09-Jun-09 22:27:02

Evening all ... thank you for your helpful advice. I did learn my score but not anyone else's scores as we were told we weren't allowed to discuss them hmm they did run the process by the book ... but obviously whatever is discussed behind closed doors no one will ever know.

To be honest by the time we got to the final decision it didn't even occur to me to appeal ... why stay somewhere that obviously doesn't value your skills and contribution? Plus the package made it feel a bit easier to swallow blush

The reason they gave for me being selected for redundancy was for having the lowest scores based on the selection criteria which we all know can be massaged to suit ... I don't believe (and neither did my clients / financial results) that I was in any way under delivering or that all of the others in the pool were doing better.

I can only think it was the expectation I'd be having another baby in the near future and that was reason enough - this is my beef so to speak ... what chance do working mothers have when it's expected they'll have more babies-especially in this climate?

LeninGrad Tue 09-Jun-09 23:03:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poncherello Mon 15-Jun-09 21:39:40

Thanks for all your advice LeninGrad ... thankfully have picked up some freelance work for the next couple of months which may extend. Still sad about previous job and wondering why me but that will pass over time I'm sure - thanks again xx

LeninGrad Tue 16-Jun-09 09:58:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kafka Sun 21-Jun-09 20:30:32

Do you have legal expense insurance on your home contents? If you do, it might be worth exploring whether the reason you were selected was because you were perceived as a 'maternity risk'. Obviously if that was the reason, that would be sex discrimination. In any event, your redundancy could have been unfair, and you may have a case for unfair dismissal. If you want to pursue that, you should appeal the decision to dismiss you even if you are late in making your appeal. Any claim for discrimination/unfair dismissal must be received by the employment tribunal within three months less one day of the date of your dismissal.

Kafka Sun 21-Jun-09 20:30:48

Do you have legal expense insurance on your home contents? If you do, it might be worth exploring whether the reason you were selected was because you were perceived as a 'maternity risk'. Obviously if that was the reason, that would be sex discrimination. In any event, your redundancy could have been unfair, and you may have a case for unfair dismissal. If you want to pursue that, you should appeal the decision to dismiss you even if you are late in making your appeal. Any claim for discrimination/unfair dismissal must be received by the employment tribunal within three months less one day of the date of your dismissal.

Kafka Sun 21-Jun-09 20:30:49

Do you have legal expense insurance on your home contents? If you do, it might be worth exploring whether the reason you were selected was because you were perceived as a 'maternity risk'. Obviously if that was the reason, that would be sex discrimination. In any event, your redundancy could have been unfair, and you may have a case for unfair dismissal. If you want to pursue that, you should appeal the decision to dismiss you even if you are late in making your appeal. Any claim for discrimination/unfair dismissal must be received by the employment tribunal within three months less one day of the date of your dismissal.

Wedgie Mon 22-Jun-09 12:00:46

Hi Poncherello, that's good advice from Kafka, I am just going through a very similar situation. I'm just waiting to hear from my insurance company to see if my choice of solicitor is agreeable - they can get a bit funny if you appoint one before they have agreed to fund it. You inevitably end up paying for the initial advice just to see if you have grounds for a claim.

I too feel very singled out, my ds is now 21 months and I was pg with my second. Just three days after letting my employer know I was pg they proposed to get rid of me. I had a miscarriage and I know that they expected me to try again. All very transparent and my employer now has my tribunal application.

It's really hard not to take it personally especially when you know you've done a damn good job. Please keep us informed on what you decide to do. Good luck.

Poncherello Thu 02-Jul-09 21:38:56

Hi Wedgie

Sorry to hear about what you've been through - hope you're doing ok - it definitely sounds like you have a very strong case, what reason did they give for selecting you?

It makes me furious to hear these things and then feel quite helpless about what can be done about it without going down the heavy (£££ and emotional) legal route.

I'll check our insurance (thanks Kafka) but to be honest right now I want to put it behind me ... I know and those close to me (colleagues, clients and friends) know what I achieved and in a way that's what counts. Rather than working for a bunch of a@s*holes (who I have since found out were paying me around £10k under what I should have been earning) I'm glad to be out of there.

Thankfully the freelancing is going well and I should be kept on for a few months - it's a nice company so fingers crossed it'll offer a bit of security in the short term.

Really good luck with everything ... hope it all turns out perfectly for you - please let us know what happens.

Just thinking our dcs must have been born around the same time, my dd is 21 months too!

xxx

Wedgie Thu 02-Jul-09 21:50:25

Hi Poncherello

They shut my department (only me and one other) - reason for selection was 'we wanted to close your department' and also they said they aren't achieving sales targets. Actually, the targets sales had were just downright unrealistic and both sales and profit were up on the same period last year - DESPITE the recession.

Despite the fact that they include the need for selection criteria in their Redundancy Policy, they decided not to use it in my case.

Have an absolute mountain of evidence, so although I don't want to get complacent it's full steam ahead.

THere are so mamy articles on tinternet about how women are being unfairly targeted, with the recession as an excuse. It makes my blood boil. I'm a strong person and I intend to fight every step of the way, but not every woman has that mental strength....

Thanks for asking after me! Really feel for you, sounds a bag of shite what you've had to go through.

DS was born Sept 07, terrible twos have already started though!

xx

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