Redundancy Selection Concerns

I have a difficult redundancy situation after 20 years with my employer, and am unsure whether I should approach ACAS, as it doesn't feel like a fair process was followed, and would welcome any advice.

The company was hit hard by Covid-19, and as a result a number of staff across the company were informed during a consultation meeting that redundancies were necessary, and that a number of roles were at risk, including my own management role. In addition to this, a subset of colleagues, including myself and several others who all work together in a specific department were also separately told that our number would be reduced by one, using a skills matrix to assess us against each other.

At the conclusion of the process, I was informed that whilst I had not scored lowest my role was being made redundant, my options being to accept redundancy, or to instead take the "suitable alternative" role currently occupied by a junior member of the team, who had scored lowest against the criteria.  This role has a significantly lower salary than I was on (and lowest in the remaining team), as well as meaning that I would be junior to colleagues I was previously senior to (N.B. I realise that this in itself would unlikely satisfy the criteria for "suitable alternative" role, and my boss has already asked why I didn't just turn it down if I felt that way).

I had concerns (voiced to the MD) about the selection criteria, which placed lowest weighting on total length of service and knowledge of the company and its products, and highest weighting on “future potential”, as determined by the MD.  To my mind, the latter is highly subjective, and doesn’t satisfy the objectivity requirements of the Employment Rights Act.

My question is, should I accept this as a somewhat uncaring and indifferent practise when dealing with a loyal and long-serving member of staff, but satisfactory as far as the law requires, or should I be looking at what legal recourse I have (possible tribunal)?  As things stand I’ve been so far unable to find alternative employment locally during my contract notice period and am looking at having to take an initial 4 week trial at the junior role with view to longer term stay in order to support my family. 





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  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546
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    MisterBull said:


    My question is, should I accept this as a somewhat uncaring and indifferent practise when dealing with a loyal and long-serving member of staff, but satisfactory as far as the law requires, 




    Understandable that you are upset on a personal level. From the companies perspective it's all about reducing overhead cost. As often it's the only way of guaranteeing the company's survival. No one likes making anyone redundant.   Ultimately an employer/employee relationship is a business one. Tough decisions aren't easy to make but that's the way of the world. 
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,476
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    the selection criteria, which placed lowest weighting on total length of service and knowledge of the company and its products, and highest weighting on “future potential”, as determined by the MD.  

    I have come across several euphemistic phrases for "getting rid of dead wood", but this ranks amongst the best!
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • nicechap
    nicechap Posts: 2,852
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    I have a difficult redundancy situation after 20 years with my employer, and am unsure whether I should approach ACAS, as it doesn't feel like a fair process was followed, and would welcome any advice.

    The company was hit hard by Covid-19, and as a result a number of staff across the company were informed during a consultation meeting that redundancies were necessary, and that a number of roles were at risk, including my own management role. In addition to this, a subset of colleagues, including myself and several others who all work together in a specific department were also separately told that our number would be reduced by one, using a skills matrix to assess us against each other.

    At the conclusion of the process, I was informed that whilst I had not scored lowest my role was being made redundant, my options being to accept redundancy, or to instead take the "suitable alternative" role currently occupied by a junior member of the team, who had scored lowest against the criteria.  This role has a significantly lower salary than I was on (and lowest in the remaining team), as well as meaning that I would be junior to colleagues I was previously senior to (N.B. I realise that this in itself would unlikely satisfy the criteria for "suitable alternative" role, and my boss has already asked why I didn't just turn it down if I felt that way).

    I had concerns (voiced to the MD) about the selection criteria, which placed lowest weighting on total length of service and knowledge of the company and its products, and highest weighting on “future potential”, as determined by the MD.  To my mind, the latter is highly subjective, and doesn’t satisfy the objectivity requirements of the Employment Rights Act.

    My question is, should I accept this as a somewhat uncaring and indifferent practise when dealing with a loyal and long-serving member of staff, but satisfactory as far as the law requires, or should I be looking at what legal recourse I have (possible tribunal)?  As things stand I’ve been so far unable to find alternative employment locally during my contract notice period and am looking at having to take an initial 4 week trial at the junior role with view to longer term stay in order to support my family.  


    Have you a link to the employment rights act that you mention - I've never heard anything called that in UK before.

    Have you been offered redundancy?

    Will your pay stay the same in the junior role?

    I think you've answered your own question at the end there.  if you decide to go to a tribunal, what will you do for income for next 12/ 24 months until its heard.  And nothing you've written suggests you'd be successful.
    Originally Posted by shortcrust
    "Contact the Ministry of Fairness....If sufficient evidence of unfairness is discovered you’ll get an apology, a permanent contract with backdated benefits, a ‘Let’s Make it Fair!’ tshirt and mug, and those guilty of unfairness will be sent on a Fairness Awareness course."
  • nicechap said:

    I have a difficult redundancy situation after 20 years with my employer, and am unsure whether I should approach ACAS, as it doesn't feel like a fair process was followed, and would welcome any advice.

    The company was hit hard by Covid-19, and as a result a number of staff across the company were informed during a consultation meeting that redundancies were necessary, and that a number of roles were at risk, including my own management role. In addition to this, a subset of colleagues, including myself and several others who all work together in a specific department were also separately told that our number would be reduced by one, using a skills matrix to assess us against each other.

    At the conclusion of the process, I was informed that whilst I had not scored lowest my role was being made redundant, my options being to accept redundancy, or to instead take the "suitable alternative" role currently occupied by a junior member of the team, who had scored lowest against the criteria.  This role has a significantly lower salary than I was on (and lowest in the remaining team), as well as meaning that I would be junior to colleagues I was previously senior to (N.B. I realise that this in itself would unlikely satisfy the criteria for "suitable alternative" role, and my boss has already asked why I didn't just turn it down if I felt that way).

    I had concerns (voiced to the MD) about the selection criteria, which placed lowest weighting on total length of service and knowledge of the company and its products, and highest weighting on “future potential”, as determined by the MD.  To my mind, the latter is highly subjective, and doesn’t satisfy the objectivity requirements of the Employment Rights Act.

    My question is, should I accept this as a somewhat uncaring and indifferent practise when dealing with a loyal and long-serving member of staff, but satisfactory as far as the law requires, or should I be looking at what legal recourse I have (possible tribunal)?  As things stand I’ve been so far unable to find alternative employment locally during my contract notice period and am looking at having to take an initial 4 week trial at the junior role with view to longer term stay in order to support my family.  


    Have you a link to the employment rights act that you mention -

    Google ERA 1996
  • Thanks @nicechap, the UK Employment Rights Act 1996 reg. 10 was my point of reference.
    Yes, I've been offered redundancy, but so far am not getting much success finding an alternative role that uses a similar skill set (one of the difficulties when living in a fairly rural location).
    The new role is in the order of 10s of percent less than the role I have been doing.  
    I'm certainly not naiive enough to think this doesn't happen to other folks too, but it still leaves me with a lot of questions about the process involved. It certainly feels like poor reward for the 1000s of extra hours put in over the years to keep key clients happy when no one else would do it! I guess that's the bit that really hurts most (and the bit where I've probably been most naiive in thinking it  would count for something given all I've put in over the years!). I guess at the end of the day we are all just numbers no matter what we might get told to the contrary when something is needed!
  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546
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    I guess at the end of the day we are all just numbers no matter what we might get told to the contrary when something is needed!
    Correct. Ultimately survival of the business is the priority. Not individuals personal feelings. Never become emotionally attached to your job is my motto. 
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,476
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    It certainly feels like poor reward for the 1000s of extra hours put in over the years to keep key clients happy when no one else would do it! I guess that's the bit that really hurts most (and the bit where I've probably been most naiive in thinking it  would count for something given all I've put in over the years!). I guess at the end of the day we are all just numbers no matter what we might get told to the contrary when something is needed!
    Unlike "The Prisoner", you ARE a number not a free man!

    As soon as an employee becomes surplus to requirements or not performing in the employer's eyes, then all past achievements by that employee tend to be forgotten.
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  • eamon
    eamon Posts: 2,319
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    I've worked for many employers and an important lesson that I've learned is not to trust them further than you can throw them. Your options are poor, redundancy or huge pay drop. Don't suppose that you have a trade union to fight your corner? For whats its worth I accepted a huge paycut in 2019 and my thinking concentrated on the likelyhood of getting new employment with similar pay, decent pension scheme (though it will now be smaller) and other benefits against the risk/danger of being on JSA/UC for a long time.
    Its not clear from your posts but can you get to keep the redundancy and accept the lower paying job? That would ease the transition and you never know it might be possible.
  • garmeg
    garmeg Posts: 771
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    It certainly feels like poor reward for the 1000s of extra hours put in over the years to keep key clients happy when no one else would do it! I guess that's the bit that really hurts most (and the bit where I've probably been most naiive in thinking it  would count for something given all I've put in over the years!). I guess at the end of the day we are all just numbers no matter what we might get told to the contrary when something is needed!
    Unlike "The Prisoner", you ARE a number not a free man!

    As soon as an employee becomes surplus to requirements or not performing in the employer's eyes, then all past achievements by that employee tend to be forgotten.
    How right you are!
  • eamon said:
    I've worked for many employers and an important lesson that I've learned is not to trust them further than you can throw them. Your options are poor, redundancy or huge pay drop. Don't suppose that you have a trade union to fight your corner? For whats its worth I accepted a huge paycut in 2019 and my thinking concentrated on the likelyhood of getting new employment with similar pay, decent pension scheme (though it will now be smaller) and other benefits against the risk/danger of being on JSA/UC for a long time.
    Its not clear from your posts but can you get to keep the redundancy and accept the lower paying job? That would ease the transition and you never know it might be possible.

    Thanks @eamon
    We're not unionised at all at the company, so though I was told I was entitled to union representation in my consultation meetings it was really just going through the motions.  I have similar feelings with regard to finding another post (especially with the number of likely applicants for new jobs post-COVID).  Whilst a statutory redundancy payout for 20+ years sounds great on paper, in reality it really wouldn't go that far if opportunities proves elusive, and I have a young family to support. 

    I don't have the option to take full redundancy before starting the new role, but will be taking my entitlement to a four week trial to see how it goes (though the company seemingly forgot to tell me I was entitled to this option til I raised it).  Intellectually it won't be too tough and a lot of elements are part of the role I've had for years anyway.  What I'll need to be careful of is that they don't just try to get the more specialist parts of my former role (particularly those relating to regulatory expertise and client retention) at cut-price.  I guess if they ask I can always say I can do it but at contractor rate (which I know is pretty healthy at the company)!

    They certainly won't be getting the extra hours out of me that they did previously on such a reduced salary, so at least I can use some of the extra time for expanding my skill set and qualifications (something I never had time for previously) and possibly to explore some additional ways to boost my income.
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