Redundant! Question about the process

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  • Redundant! Question about the process
  • Hugh Jarse
    Member

    As suspected I was made redundant on Thursday along with one of my team.

    When we were informed of the need for redundancies on Tuesday we were given a letter stating that the process would be completed on Thursday and we were all given a time for our individual meeting to tell us our fate. This was before any decision was supposedly taken about who should go.

    My meeting was the first and the other guy to get the chop was second, the other two guys in the team had the third and fourth slots and they kept their jobs.

    Now, am I being particularly sensitive but does it seem a strange coincidence to anyone else that the times handed out before the decision making process just happen to match the final result?

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation and had a similar experience?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Sorry to hear that mate, hope you qualify for a payoff and the company puts its hands in its pocket for more than statutory.

    Was it a decision-making process or a "consultation period"?

    Either way you are probably right to smell a rat – they’re supposed to make posts redundant, not people. but your evidence is pretty thin and you will probably never be able to prove the company broke employment law.

    Are you a union member? If so, ask your full-time official for advice.

    If not, you could still try to use your observation if you have the opportunity to negotiate your payoff at all. They’ll deny it, but you can still tell them how bad it looks and score a point.

    project
    Member

    When i got made redundant, i was just called into a office to see a chap id never met before and told my job was being made redundant, and that i was entitled to pay.
    Last in first out, sickness record, if the boss likes you are all relevant at the time.

    pk-ripper
    Member

    Sadly as soon as the redundancies were suggested, they probably made their decision on who would and wouldn’t be staying. Equally they could have concluded that performance and all other things were equal between employees, and drew straws for meeting times, on the proviso that the first two would be the ones to go.

    The meetings could be coincidental, but equally, they may not be – are you going to call people in and and tell them they’ve kept their jobs, while the remaining 2 wait, already knowing the result? Essentially there’s so many yes / no questions etc, and you’d have untold difficulty trying to prove a case against them.

    Sorry to hear that though, but if the recruitment people calling me are to be believed, there are some very good jobs out there.

    Dekerfer
    Member

    I’m sorry to hear about your predicament.

    I am involved in the process of resolving some redundancy situations at my place of work – even though you may not believe me, it is a pretty rubbish experience being on the other side of the desk too.

    What interested me about OP’s position is that there were four guys doing equivalent jobs and that two were selected without what seems to be appropriate process.

    My understanding is that all four should have been given ‘at risk’ letters. This would have been followed by a consultation meeting during which there woudl have been an opportunity for feedback and those ‘at risk’ can decide if they wish to apply for the two remaining roles.

    A skills matrix would then be created and each applicant judged by at least three managers against the criteria.

    Then the decision would be made and communicated about who had been unsuccessful.

    All the while, the company should be looking for (and should be able to prove that it had tried) to find alternative employment for the unsuccessful applicants.

    In my experience, this would take 30 days of formal consultation period and a number of meetings. We certainly take that approach in order to show complete fairness and empathy with our teams.

    Once again, sorry to hear about how thinsg turned out – you may want to consider checking on the process.

    Hugh Jarse
    Member

    Thanks for the replies.
    I got the statutory £330 per week for each year plus a month in lieu of notice, it’s not a lot but it’s better than nothing.
    I’ve started the ball rolling for new jobs as I’ve been in this position three times before and the waiting time for new jobs to materialise was variable even in the good times.
    I’m not with a union but a friend who used to work for ACAS reckons that unless I can prove collusion in the decision making process then I have little hope.
    I think things are a little better in the south than in some other areas but I’m over 50 and age is still a major deciding factor.

    Hugh Jarse
    Member

    Thanks Dekerfer.

    I thought the matrixing issue only related to 20+ redundancies at one time.

    I think the OP was a bit misleading, sorry, as I was the manager of a team of three all doing the same job, but the principle probably still holds true.

    I have also been the other position of making people redundant and I would agree that it’s not a pleasant experience, but at least I had a job at the end of it in that case.

    I’ll contact ACAS on Monday and see what they have to say. I have 5 days to appeal the decision I was given.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    As Dekerfer says, and if you can prove that they didn’t follow the redundancy process to a T, they automatically default and you can take them to court.

    What you’d get out of it though is another question, probably not that much more than you’ve got already in truth!

    Incidentally going through a redundancy where my employer didn’t follow any of the process correctly right now, it’s amazing how nasty people get, and will try and dig up ANY dirt, when they realise they’re in the wrong and could end up on the losing side of a court battle (should I choose to take it that far).

    As PK Ripper says though, you wouldn’t know there’s a recession on if you looked on Monster or spoke to job recruitment companies. There’s LOADS of jobs out there it seems. The downside is they’re probably being more choosy now, and skills/qualifications/experience will be more relevant than ever.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Same thing happened to me just before Christmas. We all knew that redundancies were goignt o happen and then they said that all Senior Chemists were safe, it would only be the Chemists (and a few people from admin/stores etc) who were at risk. Then they created a Points Score Matrix of all the Chemists and called up the 15 with the lowest score by sending them a letter. I got that letter, had about 1.5hrs to prepare a defence, sat in the meeting and gave them everything I could about my skills outside of this Points thing but was called in again next day and escorted off the site. Essentially they’d decided by that point as all they came up with was "The points score says this". I appealled the decision, all that went through in the last week but it still stands, their reason being that "The points score says this". It sucks but they’ve adhered to the law on it.
    Count yourself lucky, I was there 21 months so don’t even get the pay-off, just 1 month in lieu of notice. 🙁

    You automatically have a right to appeal so try that route but unless you have absolute proof that they’ve not played fair you’ve got an uphill battle. My line manager (who has a lot of clout with management) was pratically begging them to take me back, he was saying that production was suffering already but to no avail. It does piss me off becasue I know I wasn’t the weakest member of the team but according to the points score I was and that was that.

    aP
    Member

    I’ve been doing the point scoring process at work for those people who’ve been working for me, its not very pleasant.

    Dekerfer
    Member

    HJ, if there are other people at your level in the business doing the same job (e.g. managing a team of a similar size which delivers a similar set of tasks) then all of them should be put at risk along with you.

    If your role was genuinely unique then the argument will be less about the outcome but more about the process. Such a short consultation seems at odds with best practice.

    ace_sparky
    Member

    I’m an electrician and by the end of next week I’ll have found out if I will be made redundant, our company started the consultation process this week and they are deciding, by way of a points system, on Tuesday.

    Two managers will score everyone involved and the one or ones with the lowest score will get the chop.

    I know I should score very highly, but unfortunately I also know it wont work like that as I’m sure it will be a case of if they like you or not. As long as the company is seen to be doing the right thing with regards to employment law, which they are, then there will be sod all worth doing that I will be able to do about it.

    Dekerfer
    Member

    ace, you can request to see the scoring that you received and also a copy of the skills matrix that was used.

    You can possibly use this as part of an appeal, especially if the scoring is inconsistent with any other formal feedback you may have received – e.g. at an annual review.

    Although it may be hard, if you have a genuine grievance then try to approach your dialogue with the company in a positive way – e.g. if you are not successful in getting on of the roles that are being reviewed, the company should try to find other suitable roles for you to consider.

    Also bear in mind that the downside of getting the process wrong is time and money consuming for the employer so you do have some leverage if you feel that you can prove that procedure hasn’t been followed.

    Good luck.

    ace_sparky
    Member

    Dekerfer, I have asked for copies of my old annual appraisals, that have so far been completed without my knowledge or any input from me, they have just been getting filled in and then put on file, and as you mentioned I also have a copy of the document used for scoring which is the same as used for the appraisals. Just have to wait and see what happens this week.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    You have the right to be informed in writing of the criteria being used to assess redundancy. You should then have a group consultation meeting to discuss this and possible redeployment or volunteers for redundancy. Following that there should be the meeting where you find out your fate. Looks like proper procedure has not been followed and you could well have a case for unfair dismissal. The BERR site has a guide on how it should be done, the fmethod for 20+ are used for all redundancy processes to ensure the employer does not fall foul of unfair dismissal legislation.
    I would advise an appeal and show how they have unfairly dismissed you and suggest a compromise agreement (guide figure should be about 6 months pay).
    Good luck.

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