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Help! Do they have to offer me redundancy? Location change.

edited 13 August 2018 at 6:06PM in Redundancy & redundancy planning
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MrsMuffinMrsMuffin Forumite
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edited 13 August 2018 at 6:06PM in Redundancy & redundancy planning
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  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    MrsMuffin wrote: »
    Hi everyone,
    I wondered if anyone had any advice?
    I have been with my employers for almost 9 years and I love my job. I have been told that there is a very good chance that my office will close due to cost cutting. This will need to be put before a committee in September to determine one way or another.
    My questions are this:
    If my place of work is closing and the nearest alternative office is too far away will they have to offer redundancy?
    The nearest office will not be suitable for me for a few reasons, It is an hour commute each way and I will be too late to pick my daughter up from after school club. There are no suitable office spaces for me to work from at that office. This will mean that I end up doing work that is not in my contract, and is of a lower position. They will offer disturbance allowance for 2 years which would equate to around £2 per day, this does not cover the extra costs.
    I’m really sad about the situation as I do love my job but by moving offices, it will not be that same job and the commute will be awful and unpractical and as I have most of the responsibility for childcare arrangements I don’t really know what else to do.
    I have been told that Voluntary redundancy is not an option as they said that the location is being made redundant but not my role (although there is nowhere for me to go to!). My contract does state my place of work as my base. I feel that I have no choice but to quit my job as the alternative they are offering is not suitable. I would be happy to take redundancy and would put the money towards a career change (more training) but what are my alternatives if they refuse to offer redundancy.
    Would this be a case for constructive dismissal with indirect sexual discrimination?
    Kind regards.
    Mrs Muffin
    An hour could mean 60 miles or 20 miles, so it's hard to say. But yes in theory an hours commute could be absolutely fine.


    I don't see either the constructive dismissal or sexual discrimination angles - can you elaborate on what you mean?
  • edited 13 August 2018 at 3:20PM
    MrsMuffinMrsMuffin Forumite
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    edited 13 August 2018 at 3:20PM
    Hi, Thanks for your reply.

    My understanding of Indirect sexual discrimination is this:
    "If your employer tries to make you work different hours or in a different place and you cannot comply because of your childcare responsibilities then you may have a claim for indirect sex discrimination if you are a woman. Statistics show that more women than men take the main responsibility for childcare in society in general. As a result, a change in hours of work may have a worse effect on women employees than it does on men. If this is the case for you, you may be able to argue that your employer is indirectly discriminating against you by insisting you change your hours".

    I physically will not be able to collect my child in time from an Afterschool club as the location travelling time is too far. My husband also cannot collect her due to his working hours.

    Constructive dismissal:
    "If a significant change to your contract is being required or imposed, then you may be able to resign and claim that the employer has breached your contract. In other words your employer's insistence on the change to your hours or place of work effectively ended the contract and left you with no choice except to resign. In legal terms this is called a constructive dismissal. If a tribunal is satisfied that your employer's actions were effectively a dismissal, it will then go on to consider whether the dismissal was unfair. Constructive dismissal can be complicated and difficult to prove so you should always seek advice before resigning"

    A significant change is the location and I feel I have no other option as I cannot leave my 4 year old waiting outside school in the dark at 6pm every day! Also I will be financially a lot worse off with a location change as the disturbance allowance comes no where near my extra commuting costs. An hours commute used to be fine but now is unfeasible.


    I don't particularly want to take my employer to a tribunal but equally I feel it is unfair that I have to quit my job as they have changed the location, especially as I have been there for 9 years. There is nowhere else near by to do my job and I cannot start up on my own as it wouldn't be legal.


    Kind regards,

    MrsMuffin
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    MrsMuffin wrote: »
    Hi, Thanks for your reply.

    My understanding of Indirect sexual discrimination is this:
    "If your employer tries to make you work different hours or in a different place and you cannot comply because of your childcare responsibilities then you may have a claim for indirect sex discrimination if you are a woman. - This does get said a lot, but it's not a silver bullet. I wouldn't rely on this personally. Statistics show that more women than men take the main responsibility for childcare in society in general. As a result, a change in hours of work may have a worse effect on women employees than it does on men. If this is the case for you, you may be able to argue that your employer is indirectly discriminating against you by insisting you change your hours". - You could ask them to vary your working hours.

    I physically will not be able to collect my child in time from an Afterschool club as the location travelling time is too far. My husband also cannot collect her due to his working hours. - Have you asked them to change your working hours, it could be a fair adjustment for the change of location.

    Constructive dismissal:
    "If a significant change to your contract is being required or imposed, then you may be able to resign and claim that the employer has breached your contract. In other words your employer's insistence on the change to your hours or place of work effectively ended the contract and left you with no choice except to resign. In legal terms this is called a constructive dismissal. If a tribunal is satisfied that your employer's actions were effectively a dismissal, it will then go on to consider whether the dismissal was unfair. Constructive dismissal can be complicated and difficult to prove so you should always seek advice before resigning" - It would be helpful if they gave you the full story. You can only try to claim constructive dismissal if you have gone through the full grievance process first.

    A significant change is the location and I feel I have no other option as I cannot leave my 4 year old waiting outside school in the dark at 6pm every day! - you do have a choice though, as I mentioned. Also I will be financially a lot worse off with a location change as the disturbance allowance comes no where near my extra commuting costs. An hours commute used to be fine but now is unfeasible. - that is largely your problem, not your employers.


    I don't particularly want to take my employer to a tribunal but equally I feel it is unfair - morally maybe, but legally I dont think so. that I have to quit my job as they have changed the location, especially as I have been there for 9 years. There is nowhere else near by to do my job and I cannot start up on my own as it wouldn't be legal.


    Kind regards,

    MrsMuffin
    Why would it be illegal for you to start up on your own?
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    I do not see a case for indirect sexual discrimination.

    Your employer is not singling you out and changing your location, they are closing the branch where you work. It is business needs. Many banks, retailers and the Civil Service do this with monotonous regularity and many women would be in the same position as you.

    Similarly it would not be constructive dismissal. Closing a whole office would be a rather drastic measure if you wanted to force an employee to resign!

    Why would it not be legal for you to start up on your own?
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • MrsMuffinMrsMuffin Forumite
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    Comms69 wrote: »
    Why would it be illegal for you to start up on your own?



    That makes it sound really dodgy! It!!!8217;s not, The occupation that I do is not allowed to be done outside of its governing body and if it were it wouldn't be legally recognised, because of this there would be no call for it (I don't particularly want to give it away in case of being identified). Just trying to say I couldn't start up as Self-employed or go to a competitor.
    Thanks for all your help. Its helpful to have others opinions. I don't have the full picture yet and I wont until it is formally proposed to the committee in September. After that I guess we'll see!
    I will not be able to change my working hours as there is a need to work full days by my employer (9-5).
    Flexible working, to have the days split over 3 for example wouldn't be allowed as there is a service demand for full days and the commuting costs for a 3rd day would be even more and so even more financially draining.
    Looks like after 9 years of service, I!!!8217;ll be back to square 1 as without any settlement or redundancy I will not be able to afford to retrain. The whole thing makes me really sad and in a position I didn't want to be. I won't be signing a new contract as it!!!8217;s unfeasible to continue at another office.
    I am the only employee at my office, so by closing the office they are forcing me to resign. I guess it!!!8217;s legal but it!!!8217;s still not fair as I cannot work around the office moving. I thought my job was secure and so have built my life around the location, including my child's school place, nursery, we are even looking at houses in the area to move to.


    Kind regards,


    MrsMuffin.
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    MrsMuffin wrote: »


    That makes it sound really dodgy! It!!!8217;s not, The occupation that I do is not allowed to be done outside of its governing body and if it were it wouldn't be legally recognised, because of this there would be no call for it (I don't particularly want to give it away in case of being identified). Just trying to say I couldn't start up as Self-employed or go to a competitor.
    Thanks for all your help. Its helpful to have others opinions. I don't have the full picture yet and I wont until it is formally proposed to the committee in September. After that I guess we'll see!
    I will not be able to change my working hours as there is a need to work full days by my employer (9-5).
    Flexible working, to have the days split over 3 for example wouldn't be allowed as there is a service demand for full days and the commuting costs for a 3rd day would be even more and so even more financially draining.
    Looks like after 9 years of service, I!!!8217;ll be back to square 1 as without any settlement or redundancy I will not be able to afford to retrain. The whole thing makes me really sad and in a position I didn't want to be. I won't be signing a new contract as it!!!8217;s unfeasible to continue at another office.
    I am the only employee at my office, so by closing the office they are forcing me to resign. I guess it!!!8217;s legal but it!!!8217;s still not fair as I cannot work around the office moving. I thought my job was secure and so have built my life around the location, including my child's school place, nursery, we are even looking at houses in the area to move to.


    Kind regards,


    MrsMuffin.


    Puts a slightly different spin on it, if you are the only employee affected, BUT it's so difficult to advise without knowing the sector.


    I'll say this:
    1: If you need to be registered with the governing body, you could still do that, by registering yourself / your own company.
    2: If there is so much call for your service that you must be available 9-5, how does annual leave work for example?
    3: I think you are presuming your employer wont allow you to work less hours, for example 6.5 instead of 7.5 giving you extra time for commuting.
  • MrsMuffinMrsMuffin Forumite
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    Comms69 wrote: »
    Puts a slightly different spin on it, if you are the only employee affected, BUT it's so difficult to advise without knowing the sector.


    I'll say this:
    1: If you need to be registered with the governing body, you could still do that, by registering yourself / your own company.
    2: If there is so much call for your service that you must be available 9-5, how does annual leave work for example?
    3: I think you are presuming your employer wont allow you to work less hours, for example 6.5 instead of 7.5 giving you extra time for commuting.



    It comes under the County Council and I cannot set up myself with the governing body, cannot set up a company or register myself. Central Government have a big role in what I do and there is legislation in place to regulate it. Maybe in September I'll be able to say what it actually is.


    Annual leave works by them closing the office or getting another member of staff to temporarily cover my office. Usually they just close it.


    Hmm, I probably am presuming but people have asked before about flexible hours and told no, A big part of our day to day service includes liaising with other agencies who are closed outside of 9-5. so hours outside of this are not an option.


    I also financially cannot afford to work less hours and the disturbance package will not include being paid for the same hours but to include commuting time.


    Thanks once again, Perhaps in September I'll post again, when I definitely know all my options.


    So basically, on grounds of them closing my office, they don't have to offer redundancy even if the alternative option is unworkable? If I don't sign a new contract I effectively quit without notice as they have broken my contract?


    Mrs Muffin.
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    MrsMuffin wrote: »
    I don't particularly want to take my employer to a tribunal but equally I feel it is unfair that I have to quit my job as they have changed the location, especially as I have been there for 9 years. There is nowhere else near by to do my job and I cannot start up on my own as it wouldn't be legal.

    I agree with pretty much everything Comms69 has said.

    In general terms an hour's commute is likely to be regarded as reasonable and therefore not a redundancy situation.

    Plenty of people use child minders / nannies / after school clubs etc to allow them to work full time.

    Are you saying that you could but don't want to? Or that it would not be economic to do so? Either way it is unlikely to be considered your employers problem.

    There are a lot of "may's" in the article you quote and it is just possible that it "may" apply to you. However based on what you have posted I think it fairly unlikely. If you feel that is worth exploring then I can only suggest you get 1 to 1 legal advice from a specialist who has the full facts of the situation.
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    MrsMuffin wrote: »
    It comes under the County Council and I cannot set up myself with the governing body, cannot set up a company or register myself. Central Government have a big role in what I do and there is legislation in place to regulate it. Maybe in September I'll be able to say what it actually is.


    Annual leave works by them closing the office or getting another member of staff to temporarily cover my office. Usually they just close it.


    Hmm, I probably am presuming but people have asked before about flexible hours and told no, A big part of our day to day service includes liaising with other agencies who are closed outside of 9-5. so hours outside of this are not an option.


    I also financially cannot afford to work less hours and the disturbance package will not include being paid for the same hours but to include commuting time.


    Thanks once again, Perhaps in September I'll post again, when I definitely know all my options.


    So basically, on grounds of them closing my office, they don't have to offer redundancy even if the alternative option is unworkable? If I don't sign a new contract I effectively quit without notice as they have broken my contract?


    Mrs Muffin.


    There probably wont be a new contract to sign anyway. Since this is council, are you in a union?


    I think I can guess the job, or at least the department. (though you have thrown me off with the closing office for annual leave).


    I would start by speaking to your manager and explaining the circumstances. I would suggest though that 32 hours is better than 0 hours in terms of: I also financially cannot afford to work less hours and the disturbance package will not include being paid for the same hours but to include commuting time.


    Sangie may be along to offer advice. I just feel as though it being a single person office, rather than what I thought when you first posted, may change things slightly.
  • edited 13 August 2018 at 6:12PM
    MrsMuffinMrsMuffin Forumite
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    edited 13 August 2018 at 6:12PM
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