Do I actually have to work for a company with a disgusting, greedy culture?

Hi, I'm new here but am desperate for some advice.  However, my situation is complex and will take a bit of explaining.  I've been working for my current employer for over 18 years.  I was originally employed as a software trainer on a full-time basis, but in 2018 reduced my hours to a 3 day week to support my young son who has special needs.  Then last year I was told that the dept. I worked in was closing and everyone was at risk of redundancy.  Luckily, I managed to secure a position in another team in the business, and I started in the new team on 1st Feb 2020.  It was understood at the time of my employment in the new team that I worked a 3 day week and also that I would need some time to upskill into the new team, during which time I would not be fully billable at clients.  
Then the Coronavirus hit and the company started to lose money as projects were postponed or cancelled altogether.  On 18 March, my manager informed me that, due to the economic downturn, various people would be made redundant, and I was one of them.  My redundancy consultation meeting was scheduled for 22 March and during the consultation, I was told immediately that I was not going to be Furloughed, as my redundancy was not related to Covid-19 and  would have happened anyway.  I was also told that I was the only person in my team who was in the "redundancy pool"  because I was the only person who worked part-time hours. (yet  they knew this when I was given the role!)  They also stated that one of the reasons I was being selected for redundancy, was due to my "lack of billable hours" and refused to acknowledge that it was not a fair criteria in my case given my newness in the role and lack of opportunity to properly upskill.  I actually have a recording of this Consultation meeting - with their permission - so they are on record saying all this.  
I have challenged them every step of the way, although it has been emotionally draining to do so.  Their answers to every challenge have been contradictory and often senseless.  It is patently clear that they have used Covid-19 as an opportunity to get rid of some 'dead wood' in the business and are refusing to Furlough those people out of a complete lack of compassion.  I have worked for them for 18 years, and they have chosen to reward that loyalty by making me redundant and refusing me access to the financial lifeline of the Job Retention scheme at the very moment when no alternative employment is available.  However, there has been a part of me that has been relieved at the idea that I do not have to work for them again.   But by challenging them in the ways that I have, I think it's made it obvious to all concerned that their case for dismissal is weak.
Then on Sunday, they sent me an email stating that they might win a large new project and asking whether I would be available to work as part of the project team.  If they'd said that 3 weeks ago, I'd have been ecstatic.  But now, after everything that has happened, I have completely lost any trust or confidence in my employer.  My mental and emotional health have taken a huge battering and I quite literally feel nauseous at the thought of having to work for them again.  I'm not sleeping and have suffered anxiety attacks.  I do not want to work for this horrible, greedy, company any more.  My concern though is that I could lose my redundancy if I refuse to take this project work.  Can anyone advise?

Comments

  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,468
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    edited 8 April 2020 at 3:01PM
    IF they get the contract and they offer you a suitable post before your last day with the company then your redundancy would be cancelled and you would be due no redundancy payment. "Suitable" does not necessarily mean doing the same job as you were doing, but doing a job which you would be capable of. Employers are supposed to avoid redundancy situations wherever possible, so offering you another post is what they are obliged to do.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales

  • The other thing to bear in mind the situation everyone finds themselves in won't last forever & you don't have to work for them forever
  • Thanks for your replies.  I think you’re right.  They hadn’t actually made me redundant - it was still in the consultation stage - so they do have the right to change their minds and offer me work.  It is with the same team that my role was apparently redundant in, although why they think I’d be billable in that role now given that I still need a certain amount of upskilling is beyond me.

    I suspect that I may have shot myself in the foot by challenging them about the redundancy as much as I did.  The HR lady is hopeless and throughout the challenges told blatant lies that could be evidenced as lies, pretty much admitted that the company weren’t following proper redundancy processes (because I don’t think she knows what the processes are) and stated in writing that my part time hours were a problem, despite the fact that I was employed into the role on those hours.  

    I think my big fear now is that I’m very aware that they don’t want me in the firm.  They can’t get rid of me using the “redundancy” tactic, because their reasons could be challenged legally, so they’ve taken me off a redundancy position.  But I’m fairly certain that they will now make my life difficult in various ways, and there are lots of ways that they could do that.  They could effectively make my life so miserable that I end up resigning and losing my redundancy, but without another position to go to.  Unfortunately, my requirement for part time hours will make it difficult to get a role elsewhere at my current level.  Although the job can easily be done with flexible hours, most companies in my industry only employ professional staff on a full-time basis and allow flexible working if required once a full-time employee has already proved their worth.
  • ToxicWomble
    ToxicWomble Posts: 882
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    In answer to your question - No you don’t, you are free to resign at any time if you disagree with how the company is run.
  • Highland76
    Highland76 Posts: 519
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    In answer to your question - No you don’t, you are free to resign at any time if you disagree with how the company is run.
    +1
    Bit of a bizarre thread title considering the slave trade was abolished donkeys years ago.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,437
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    Given everything that is going on, unless you have another job to land in straight away, it's probably best to swallow your pride and take the role that is available.

    You don't have to do it.  You can resign, but will probably not get any redundancy pay.  Maybe that is what they hope for.

    If they do make you redundant in the future, they will have to start again at the beginning of consultation (unless very quick change of heart) so this would then buy you more time, and redundancy rights only increase with length of service.
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