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Appeal hearing - what to expect?
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# 1
claire0710
Old 20-05-2010, 2:09 PM
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Default Appeal hearing - what to expect?

I have appealed my redundancy on the grounds that I was unfairly selected. To cut a long story short I was made redundant after maternity leave but someone else is doing my job so there should have been a selection pool but there wasn't. My job is therefore not redundant and an assessment should have taken place.
ACAS advised me to appeal before taking to an employment tribunal but what can I expect to gain from this?
Its unlikely they will offer me my job back, it is a small company and the trust and working relationship has been destroyed so I cannot be reasonably expected to work with them again.
I have had legal advice and been told that unfair dismissal applies in this case and I have a good case for an ET.
What are the possible outcomes of the appeal and what should I do to prepare? Should I mention ET to them and see whether they are prepared to make a suitable offer to avoid this?
Any advice appreciated.
Thank you.
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# 2
dickydonkin
Old 21-05-2010, 10:18 AM
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There is not such an emphasis by an ET to appeal nowadays, but I would still do it nonetheless.

It will also give you the opportunity for your employer to provide you with additional ammunition to fire if your appeal is unsuccessful which is the outcome you expect.

Prepare the questions for your appeal hearing and make sure you take notes which you will very likely need if the dispute progresses.

Also ensure you are accompanied.

Good Luck
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# 3
claire0710
Old 25-05-2010, 4:17 PM
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I won't be able to take anyone with me because there is only 1 other employee in the company - this is person who is doing my job and I have no union so I am on my own.
I am really nervous now as if it goes to an ET the company will be represented by Peninsula - I have just read that they are very successful in fighting for the employer so I feel like I am on a losing streak already.

The company have a contracted secretary to take notes - how can I be sure they are acting impartially? Am I allowed to request name of company who is supplying this secretary?
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# 4
kb92830
Old 25-05-2010, 4:30 PM
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Claire,

If the company are in the wrong you will win inspite of who is representing them. The main thing to consider when going to a tribunal is did they follow the correct process. If they didn't you are in with a chance and any monetary award will be based on the difference between the maximum award allowed and the level of redundancy you recieved (albeit this is subject to discretion by the panel). The main thing if you cant see anything obviously wrong in what they did would be to look for technicalities, ie. did they have a selection criterias, if so what was it, you can also look at it they informed you at the right time etc.

You also need to remember that the hidden award here are things like pension rights etc, it is not all about what you walked away with on the day.
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# 5
triphop
Old 25-05-2010, 6:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claire0710 View Post
I won't be able to take anyone with me because there is only 1 other employee in the company
Hiya,

I see no reason why you cannot take someone from outside the company to represent you or just take notes given the circumstances ie - only one other employee who's already doing your job.

There have been instances where someone from outside the company & union has represented an employee at my place of work. I'm not sure on your company procedures of course but see no reason why such a request would be denied, in fact, if it were I'm sure it'd act in your favor ultimately. Put the request in writing and only accept a written response, if its denied and after the appeal you go to tribunal then its all good for you.

kb92830 & dpassmore make some very good points, you do need to sit down and work out exactly what your going to say/ask and the basis of your appeal.

Quote:
You also need to remember that the hidden award here are things like pension rights etc, it is not all about what you walked away with on the day.
how long after maternity leave were you informed? as you say a job is made redundant and if someone is doing that job...
heh, can be a very fine line though.

Please keep us updated. I'll help where I can

trippy

Last edited by triphop; 25-05-2010 at 6:16 PM.
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# 6
Uncertain
Old 25-05-2010, 7:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triphop View Post
Hiya,

I see no reason why you cannot take someone from outside the company to represent you or just take notes given the circumstances ie - only one other employee who's already doing your job.

There have been instances where someone from outside the company & union has represented an employee at my place of work. I'm not sure on your company procedures of course but see no reason why such a request would be denied, in fact, if it were I'm sure it'd act in your favor ultimately. Put the request in writing and only accept a written response, if its denied and after the appeal you go to tribunal then its all good for you.
Unfortunately, whilst certain companies may allow this, there is no legal right to take anybody except a colleague or an accredited trade union official. Interestingly the accredited trade union official doesn't have to be from a trade union you belong to or even working on behalf of one that day!

There are a couple of specialist employment solicitors in London who claim to be able to provide such a person for a fee. The employer does not then have the legal right to refuse the person. Needless to say this doesn't come cheap. It does however get somebody effectively working for your solicitor into the meeting.
PLEASE NOTE:

I limit myself to responding to threads where I feel I have enough knowledge to make a useful contribution. My advice (and indeed any advice on this type of forum) should only be seen as a pointer to something you may wish to investigate further. Never act on any forum advice without confirmation from an accountable source.
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# 7
claire0710
Old 26-05-2010, 9:38 PM
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Some great advice, thank you everyone.
I had no idea that I could take a union rep even if I don't belong to that union. My dad happens to be a union rep official and has offered to come along. I have put this in writing to them and ACAS see no reason why it should be denied.
I returned from ML in March and was made redundant in May, was simply told they had managed without me so there was no job for me. However, my job was not unique and is interchangeable with the other girl in the office so we should have been assessed against each other for the remaining office role. There was no selection process or criteria and within 2 weeks of the first conversation I had left with PILON. I only took 4 months ML so my job should have been protected.
I do not believe the correct process has been followed and I can prove that the job I did still exists and therefore we all should have been assessed.
I have spoke to ACAS and a solicitor who have both said that depending on the outcome of an appeal I should file a claim for unfair dismissal at an ET. Of course ACAS now have the conciliation process that needs to be done before the ET so there is no quick solution.
I am hoping that they admit the correct procedure has not been followed and consider making a settlement offer, think this called a compromise agreement? I don't really want the hassle of an ET but if I am forced down that route then so be it.
Peninsula have probably told the director the process and she has told them that my job is unique which is simply not true so she may have misled them anyway.
I have made notes of the issues I want to raise during the appeal so I think I am prepared as best possible. I simply want fair compensation for what I have been put through, I feel I have been unfairly dismissed because I was on ML and am a PT employee, they also knew I would need time off soon for cancer treatment so I believe there is an element of discrimination there also.
I will keep you posted.
Thanks again, much appreciated.
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# 8
Uncertain
Old 27-05-2010, 7:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claire0710 View Post
Some great advice, thank you everyone.
I had no idea that I could take a union rep even if I don't belong to that union. My dad happens to be a union rep official and has offered to come along. I have put this in writing to them and ACAS see no reason why it should be denied.
Excellent.

I'm sure the firm will HATE that but, as far as I know, they can't legally refuse!
PLEASE NOTE:

I limit myself to responding to threads where I feel I have enough knowledge to make a useful contribution. My advice (and indeed any advice on this type of forum) should only be seen as a pointer to something you may wish to investigate further. Never act on any forum advice without confirmation from an accountable source.
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# 9
claire0710
Old 27-05-2010, 5:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdturk View Post
The crux of this sounds like that you are saying the jobs were interchangeable and they will say they are not.

Can you prove they are interchangeable or would they be able to prove they are not interchangeable?

This is exactly it. Around 95% of the office work was carried out by both of us. The only differences between the jobs were that the other lady had to do a small amount of bookkeeping but this has now been taken off her and given the the accountants. I had to supervise her and a telesales person alongside doing the office work so that is the only difference really.
I believe I can prove that the work I was doing is still there and being done by someone else so I believe that an assessment and selection process should have taken place.
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# 10
claire0710
Old 27-05-2010, 5:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncertain View Post
Excellent.

I'm sure the firm will HATE that but, as far as I know, they can't legally refuse!
Hmmm, they are now arguing this fact so I am having to delay the hearing until I can get written confirmation that the union rep is trained to accompany workers to disciplinaries. They are trying to be as awkward as possible.
I don't like the fact that they have a legal rep from their solicitors attending and I am not allowed to take anyone.
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