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    • JLS3405
    • By JLS3405 2nd Nov 17, 4:29 PM
    • 56Posts
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    JLS3405
    Redundancy! Weird Day!
    • #1
    • 2nd Nov 17, 4:29 PM
    Redundancy! Weird Day! 2nd Nov 17 at 4:29 PM
    After a meeting with the Directors of a Charity I am book keeper at - I am to be made redundant as they are outsourcing all the accounts processes to our accountants. I work 20 hrs per week and have done for just over a year. I announced I was pregnant on Monday 30th and today 2nd have been told of the redundancy and that discussions with the accountant have been ongoing for a long time without my knowledge.

    Find this hard to believe as I am the one that does 80% of all accounts and the accountant the big stuff. If that was not enough...

    I have been sent a letter with a copy of an email sent to the Accountant dated 01/11/17 (yesterday) from the Directors - Requesting a cost for full accounts/bookkeeping service from them with an added sentence to say "I also need your email to state negotiations have been going on for several months". Now I know I should not have this email but it was left on my desk by maybe a concerned Director, it all seems very dubious - Any idea where I stand here?
Page 1
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 2nd Nov 17, 5:14 PM
    • 1,296 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    • #2
    • 2nd Nov 17, 5:14 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Nov 17, 5:14 PM
    Unless you can prove its directly related to your pregnancy there isn't much you can do. If your job is deemed to no longer be needed, they can make you redundant at any point. It might be true that negotiations have been happening. Its common for directors not to say anything until final decisions have been made. I'd start looking for another job. I found a job while pregnant. I was early enough to hide my bump and i choose not to say anything for vobvious reasons. I was hired and spent 8 years there.
    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 2nd Nov 17, 5:50 PM
    • 17,101 Posts
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    Masomnia
    • #3
    • 2nd Nov 17, 5:50 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Nov 17, 5:50 PM
    I think you'll struggle to show that the reason for your redundancy is your pregnancy, which really is the only recourse you'd have, ie to claim that your selection for redundancy is due to your pregnancy. It doesn't sound like it is.

    During consultation I'd ask what they're offering in terms of redundancy pay, even though you're not entitled to anything unless your contract provides for it. Personally I'd say that I felt I'd been treated badly in light of the email and say that I felt I did deserve payment, especially with a baby on the way!
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 2nd Nov 17, 5:55 PM
    • 9,912 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #4
    • 2nd Nov 17, 5:55 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Nov 17, 5:55 PM
    If you have only been with the company for just over a year, they can dismiss you without reason although as you are pregnant this may not be a wise move on their part
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 2nd Nov 17, 9:38 PM
    • 30,267 Posts
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    getmore4less
    • #5
    • 2nd Nov 17, 9:38 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Nov 17, 9:38 PM
    Throw TUPE into the mix.
    • scaredofdebt
    • By scaredofdebt 3rd Nov 17, 8:02 AM
    • 914 Posts
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    scaredofdebt
    • #6
    • 3rd Nov 17, 8:02 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Nov 17, 8:02 AM
    Stick to your guns, my wife worked for a charity for 5 years and things started to get "difficult" once she told them she was pregnant.

    In the end she looked at going down the constructive dismissal route and they then offered her a severance package which was worth almost as much as if she had won an industrial tribunal, so she accepted it.

    Try to document as much as you can and consider legal advice.
    Matched Betting novice - Earnings to date - £161.16 so far this month.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 3rd Nov 17, 8:29 AM
    • 4,046 Posts
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    sangie595
    • #7
    • 3rd Nov 17, 8:29 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Nov 17, 8:29 AM
    Oh, if that email is genuine, you have all you require to make a claim of discrimination and unfair dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy. That time line, with the letter, is gold dust. So I disagree with those who say there is no evidence. With just the time line, if you were my member, this would be costing them dearly. With that email on top... Precious.

    In your shoes I would be standing in the line at my union office - and if not in a union, at a solicitors.
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 3rd Nov 17, 8:44 AM
    • 15,275 Posts
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    antrobus
    • #8
    • 3rd Nov 17, 8:44 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Nov 17, 8:44 AM
    Oh, if that email is genuine, you have all you require to make a claim of discrimination and unfair dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy. ....
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Not unfair dismissal. OP has less than two years service. Wrongful dismissal would be the allegation.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 3rd Nov 17, 9:45 AM
    • 937 Posts
    • 555 Thanks
    phillw
    • #9
    • 3rd Nov 17, 9:45 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Nov 17, 9:45 AM
    If the directors and the accountants are willing to falsify evidence then you may still have a fight on your hands. If you knew how the email came onto your desk then you would have a stronger case.

    Charities may have other trustees than the directors and they may have members who vote for the trustees at an AGM. You need to look into this as it gives you more leverage.

    What outcome do you actually want?
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 3rd Nov 17, 10:21 AM
    • 3,183 Posts
    • 3,875 Thanks
    martinsurrey
    If the directors and the accountants are willing to falsify evidence then you may still have a fight on your hands. If you knew how the email came onto your desk then you would have a stronger case.

    Charities may have other trustees than the directors and they may have members who vote for the trustees at an AGM. You need to look into this as it gives you more leverage.

    What outcome do you actually want?
    Originally posted by phillw
    A chartered accountant should be unwilling to lie at an employment tribunal, I've seen people struck off for less.

    OP, ask for support that the negotiations have been going on for months, from the accountants, or ask them yourself.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 3rd Nov 17, 12:38 PM
    • 950 Posts
    • 983 Thanks
    badmemory
    Perhaps another question to ask yourself would be do you really want to work for people like this. Charities are becoming notorious for not actually being very charitable & for being quite bad employers.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 3rd Nov 17, 2:05 PM
    • 4,046 Posts
    • 6,536 Thanks
    sangie595
    Not unfair dismissal. OP has less than two years service. Wrongful dismissal would be the allegation.
    Originally posted by antrobus
    Yes, it would be unfair dismissal. No, it would not be wrongful dismissal. OP doesn't need two years service for sex discrimination and dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy. Wrongful dismissal is something else entirely, and relates to breach of contractual terms - so dismissal without notice pay, for example. That is not the claim here. The OP alleges, and has evidence of, dismissal because they told the employer they were pregnant, and that can only happen to women. Discrimination claims.
    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 7th Nov 17, 7:06 AM
    • 17,101 Posts
    • 37,727 Thanks
    Masomnia
    In the end she looked at going down the constructive dismissal route and they then offered her a severance package which was worth almost as much as if she had won an industrial tribunal, so she accepted it.

    Try to document as much as you can and consider legal advice.
    Originally posted by scaredofdebt
    Mmm I think bringing it up during the consultation and hoping for some kind of mutual agreement is the right approach.

    At the end of the day if OP doesn't do that and leaves it until after they unfairly dismiss her and then at tribunal claims that she has this evidence I think it will stand against her that she did not bring it up sooner, and during the process. It puts her in a difficult position really, because at this point the employer hasn't done anything except say that they are considering outsourcing their payroll/bookkeeping.

    An accountant certainly shouldn't lie to a court. It may of course be true that they have had discussions about outsourcing their payroll before; indeed I'd be surprised if they hadn't.

    Definitely a difficult one, but until they actually dismiss you your options are limited imho.
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 7th Nov 17, 10:51 AM
    • 30,267 Posts
    • 18,104 Thanks
    getmore4less
    I think even if there have been negotiations the accountants will drop the idea of taking on this work and try to get distance from the new problem when they find out.

    Just tell the accountant you look forward to being TUPE to them and any negotiations will most likely stop.

    wonder if the law stretches far enough to still capture the accountants if they did pull out, as it could also be fairly obvious it was because they would be taking on a pregnant employee.

    The alternative(to pulling out) for the accountants is to include the costs in the quote and hope the company pulls the plug on the idea.
    • nomoreboomandbust
    • By nomoreboomandbust 9th Nov 17, 3:51 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    nomoreboomandbust
    OP- I feel for you in this situation. The curious thing i find about all this is that the flow is usually the other way round, ie the accountant's fee is too much due to their charge out rates being higher than an employees' hourly rate + associated costs such as ERs ni .

    An accountant will step in when there is a maternity period to cover or in my case when the bookkeeper is off sick for a lengthy term after recovering from an injury but that should not mean that the accountant takes over on a permanent basis.
    Last edited by nomoreboomandbust; 09-11-2017 at 3:54 PM.
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