Do I have a good unfair dismissal claim after being made redundant?

I worked as a manager in a specialist team for a large firm. There are a total of 3 of us managers, all with the same title, job description and seniority grade. I was told my job was at risk as they no longer needed a specalist compliance manager. I am the only person in the whole team who was at risk, and there was to be one redundancy and we had now entered a 30 day consultation period from 3rd August to 20th August (even though thats not 30 days - but under 20 people were at risk office wide). 
I asked whether the other managers had been involved in the consultation period, they had not. I said why am i singled out compared to the others? They said as i was a compliance manager. On my paperwork for redundancy they've put compliance manager. Thing is, im not a compliance manager. My official title is just manager, same as the others and whilst my role contains compliance, it is not my sole duties. The other managers too, also do compliance. Our role is to manager the client portfolio. We do not pick our clients, they are annually allocated evenly between the three managers (and we have an equal split as of time of the consultation). I was told one of our large clients has greatly reduced work, which is true and we knew about it in November 2019 and is not Covid related, there are two of us managers on this client as it usually warrents that amount of work. Again, i queried this and they stuck to their guns so I sent them evidence of my non-compliance duties and asked whether the other two were ever in the 'pool' for selection. They were not. At no point were the other two managers of the same grade and duty description considered for redundancy. 
Now, ive already done research and this seems very questionable as selection pools seem a quite straight forward set of criteria where even if someone already knows who is likely to be at risk most, the selection pool is gathered and then scored. i was officially made redundant 20th august as no alternatives were found (or offered). there was no voluntary package offered and the partner in charge didnt even bother to attend the final decision meeting and my dismissal. 
I appealed, and have my appeal hearing this week. Im not sure what else I can do to persuade the company they have not played a fair selection process - what I wanted to ask the group is whether they can think of any reason why i would not be sucessful in taking this further? am i missing a legitimate reason to why they have a pool of one without a selection process when there are others who should be included? they've changed my job title seemingly to cover their backs to why they've chosen no one else. I would like to point out i am the only senior female, the only senior person who was furloughed as I had childcare issues, long length of service (longer than others),  in the whole office - only females were selected in teams for redundancy out of 200+ employees. 

I have two queries on this board now but they are separate as the other is a payslip query on furlough pay
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  • Barny1979
    Barny1979 Posts: 7,921
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    Would being on furlough mean that your role was not necessary, as presumably they were covering your role whilst furloughed and may have realised it wasn't necessary to fill the post?
  • It certainly wasnt mentioned, and no one has been reallocated my client list or actively working on them other than the junior team - I was furloughed as I had a 19month old at home and it was agreed I could be as we had no childcare.  There is certainly an argument that there has been an overall reduction in work full stop - but this again affects all three managers. If the decision is that there is now only enough work to support 2 not 3 managers, again, shouldnt all 3 managers be looked at? 
  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628
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    I would like to point out i am the only senior female, the only senior person who was furloughed as I had childcare issues, long length of service (longer than others)
    Its not clear here if you are complaining that you were furloughed or if you were thankful to have been furloughed because of childcare issues?
    there was no voluntary package offered and the partner in charge didnt even bother to attend the final decision meeting

    What difference do you feel either voluntary or the partner turning up would have made?  Voluntary packages are, in my experience, rarely any better than involuntary and whilst its nice if your boss/your bosses boss turns up to say bye etc there is no real need for them to and in todays Covid world its not really that surprising.

    On the more fundamental aspects re job titles etc I would defer to others and suggest you speak to ACAS and/or your legal advice line if you have purchased legal protection on your home insurance. You may want to consider your messaging, I appreciate its a highly emotive matter but important details can be lost or diminished if the message is unclear or contains superfluous details. 
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,453
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    Do the other 2 managers have higher or more relevant qualifications than you? Is their performance or client satisfaction better than yours? Did the office run more smoothly because of your absence?
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • @sandtree - oh I was very much relieved that I was able to be furloughed to look after our child! Its more to point out that at the time, there was no reason to furlough senior staff as the work continued, I was only furloughed by request and an understanding partner. We did not of course expect it to go on so long and as soon as our nursery was back open, I requested to come back to work. It is just a shame I was furloughed after all as if all three of us were present, a direct comparison of our work loads could be shown rather than them trying to use data from my part time hours (3 days a week in 2019) against a full time manager (5 full days). Like-for-like, we were as profitable and efficient as each other.


    @lincroft1710 - no we all hold the same professional qualifications, one is slightly more junior than me having been promoted a year after myself, and one same level who only joined the firm under two years ago (to cover whilst I was on mat leave and ended up staying on). All three of us are well achieving, good performance reviews, no disciplines or any kind, good track and timekeeping record holders etc. We are...in essence, equal! in fact my right-to-be accompanied colleague is one of the other managers (after we asked HR if there was any conflict of interest, they said no) and he's argued for me that we all do and are expected to do exactly the same job and role.

  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628
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    @sandtree - oh I was very much relieved that I was able to be furloughed to look after our child! Its more to point out that at the time, there was no reason to furlough senior staff as the work continued, I was only furloughed by request and an understanding partner. 

    This would suggest that they have discovered in the current climate at least that they no longer need three people however this would only point to the need for a role to be made redundant not necessarily you and doesnt answer the question of if the selection pools were fair. 

    I've seen others that have taken an extended holiday or sabbatical and clearly fairly remote management have spotted it didn't cause issues, backfill wasnt required etc.
  • @sandtree, yes, thank you. I agree, I do believe overall there is less work for us going forward and I can understand the overall need to reduce staff costs/headcount. My claim for unfair dismissal is for my work not following the correct procedure in that if there was the need to reduce the headcount from 3 managers to 2, surely than all 3 managers would be looked at. Instead, they have 'changed' my job title to a different role (which does not exist) and said that's the role that is redundant. I don't think a company can just change the job title of an employee without their knowledge or consent in order to make that role redundant.

  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628
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    I am no legal expert, actually accidentally find myself here as clicked the wrong button, but my understanding is that job titles are fairly irrelevant to the process anyway and instead its duties and skills that are pooled together.

    As to changing job titles... not sure there is many rules about these things, certainly in many places I've worked job titles have been relatively fluid things and a single person can hold multiple titles both formally and in relation to their current activities. So my last employee contract didn't specify a job title, according to the IT system I was a "Consultant", the role I fulfilled was generally that of a "Project Director" but I was briefly also a Director for one of their subsidiaries. To add complexity all employees were employed by a service company and yet held job titles in relation to the operating companies... there were 12 CFO's employed by the servicing company and yet ironically none where the CFO of the company but someone who's title was FC for one of the operating companies was :) 

    Hopefully you get the matter resolved to your satisfaction but certainly work on the messaging 
  • Barny1979
    Barny1979 Posts: 7,921
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    It''s unfortunate, but the furlough has backfired unfortunately, as you've gained an advantage over the other managers by being paid whilst not working, albeit due to looking after your child, but this has then flagged up they don't require the 3rd manager.
  • katdmcdougal
    katdmcdougal Posts: 23
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    edited 8 September 2020 at 7:26PM
    @Barny1979 but my client work has not been picked up - and is now months in arrears which one of the other managers is asking who is going to pick up work load now im not there. Im sure it can be allocated out - but again we're back to - 

    Can they legally just have a selection pool of one when theres three managers? If my performance was weak or poor - surely that would be listed as a reason to select me. But its not (and I would have taken it personally as I do take pride in working to a high standard). 
    Ultimately I think its not personal and someone with the numbers has gone 'we can't sustain this level of staff in these climates ' but have been lazy and done the easiest thing which was to just not bring me back. Without following an actual selection process. 
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