Redundancy - Only Person & doesn't seem legitimate reasoning

b00na91b00na91 Forumite
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First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
Hi folks,

I was previously a member of the forums however lost access to my email account etc so starting over.

Just over 3 weeks ago my wife was advised that the company had entered a period of evaluating redundancy and that her role was one up for redundancy (she'd served for less that 2 years). At the time they cited a down-turn in business and that her job was no longer required by the business - She is a SHEQ Systems Manager (manages ISO accreditation etc).

Just over 2 weeks prior to this, the business was purchased by another firm (based in Belgium), at this point it was asked if there would be any risk to job roles etc to whic hthe response was no, the forecast was extremely healthy and business was good.

They stated that the role is no longer required by the business and is also a financial cost saving for the business, she is on £35k with car perks etc, this is a business of ~210 staff and she is by no means near the top of the ladder in terms of pay.

Given the business would find it very difficult to conduct business without their ISO accreditation that my wife was responsible for auditing against we can't help feel that the business is using redundancy as a means to remove her from the business. After seeking clarification she has been advised that it is only her role that is to be made redundant with some of her responsibilities to be shared within the business.

Their answers during meetings have been very cagey to a point where they have said they do not wish to discuss any particulars of the process of selection for redundancy.

Is there any ground or even any point in persuing this any further or just taking the general notice pay (1 month) and a 'friendly settlement' of £1k on the table?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, im open to all angles of questioning. Something just doesn't seem to add up but equaslly proving it is going to be difficult...

Replies

  • b00na91b00na91 Forumite
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    I forgot to mention that in the past 2 weeks, they have hired just over 8 new employees into the business.
  • BrieBrie Forumite
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    I believe there are no redundancy rights as such when employment is less than 2 years so any offer might be considered generous as long as it's in keeping with the notice required in her contract. 

    It's possible that everyone else has more than 2 years and so she's the first to get the push as the easiest to deal with and that more may conceivably follow.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • BrieBrie Forumite
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    Cross posted!  If they are hiring then it almost seems personal.  Or are the newbies at a much lower rate?
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • b00na91b00na91 Forumite
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    Thanks Brie,

    I wasn't sure on the rights for Unfair Dismissal alongside time of service. This is twice it's happened in 2 years, the last company went into administration though with collective redundancy so that was a little more clear cut.

    However as you mentioned, the fact they are still hiring (for some quite senior roles too) it does seem personal - although them admitting it would be suicide for them obviously. 

    Just a kick in the teeth with all she has done to get them out of the proverbial!
  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
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    Your wife could do worse than contact Acas. https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

    And she could also have a look at all the info in this Acas link, which is really informative -

    https://www.acas.org.uk/search?keys=redundancy

    She can also appeal against redundancy, particularly if her employer has not followed the correct procedure. No matter how long she's been employed.

    Acas will advise further but if your wife has been unfairly treated, she does still have some rights, even though the so-called 'two year rule' is now in force.
    My opinions are strictly my own. The forum advises everyone to double-check all information given by any forumite to ensure accuracy. Once commented, I rarely return to a thread, as per this "the moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on" (origin Omar Khayyam). I aspire to the (corny but true) saying - in a world where you can be anything, please be kind.
  • edited 2 November at 10:03AM
    ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    edited 2 November at 10:03AM
    b00na91 said:

    Just over 2 weeks prior to this, the business was purchased by another firm (based in Belgium), at this point it was asked if there would be any risk to job roles etc to whic hthe response was no, the forecast was extremely healthy and business was good.


    Takeover will result in normally restructuring in some way. First will be the low hanging fruit. Later will come the more complex and difficult decisions. Companies will still continue to recruit. The business will continue to look forward. 

    Redundancy is difficult to take on a personal level. Particularly when you are the only one. You won't be the last that's a certainty. 
    Real insurance claim quote : -

    "Going to work at 7am this morning I drove out of my drive straight into a bus. The bus was 5 minutes early.".
  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    b00na91 said:
    Just over 3 weeks ago my wife was advised that the company had entered a period of evaluating redundancy and that her role was one up for redundancy (she'd served for less that 2 years). At the time they cited a down-turn in business and that her job was no longer required by the business - She is a SHEQ Systems Manager (manages ISO accreditation etc).

    Just over 2 weeks prior to this, the business was purchased by another firm (based in Belgium), at this point it was asked if there would be any risk to job roles etc to whic hthe response was no, the forecast was extremely healthy and business was good.

    b00na91 said:
    I forgot to mention that in the past 2 weeks, they have hired just over 8 new employees into the business.

    Is your wife the only SHEQ Systems Manager in the business that was acquired?

    When there are company take-overs and mergers, these types of role are often the first to be reduced as the new head office located in Belgium will probably already have a department undertaking this compliance function and they will have assessed that the additional burden of the acquired company can be carried out at a cost saving by being in the central compliance team.  In which case, the grounds for redundancy are genuine - if there are multiple people in the role in the company your wife works for, then a selection process may be required.

    Are the roles that have been recruited in the same activities, or something entirely different?  If your wife has skills in compliance and the new roles are in something completely different, then it is possible that the new roles are simply not suitable.  Regardless, your wife should enquire as to whether there are any vacancies in the business and once she is given the list, she can ask whether she can apply for any of them (unless she realises they are not suitable anyhow).

    Your wife also does not know what the status of the 8 new starters is.  If I read the OP correctly, the time-scale in consideration is 5 weeks:  Two weeks since the company was acquired followed by 3 weeks of the redundancy evaluation.  If they 8 new starters have already actually joined the business and turned up for work, the new starts were likely offered the roles prior to the company acquisition and may be feeling equally unsettled about their status.

    Redundancy is always very hard when it affects you personally and the "is it me?" is a valid review but it can often be seen when assessed more coldly (hard to do when all wrapped up in the process) that the situation is just one of those things.  Even that is little comfort at the time, of course.

    With less than 2 years' service, the rights to redundancy pay are zilch.  The offer seems to be 1 months' paid notice (likely contractual) and will that be worked notice or gardening leave?  Plus £1k compensation.  That is probably fair in the circumstances - there may be some scope to get the £1k increased by a small amount through negotiation, but that is appealing to the better nature of the business managers.  She should, however, be able to ensure that the £1k is structed as redundancy so free of any tax deductions.  I assume she'll be asked to sign a "compromise agreement" (which is normal in this type of situation).  

    I hope that you and your wife can work through this - it is a difficult time when it happens - there is every possibility that it will be an opportunity when the process is all through and your wife is settled in a new future.
  • ian16527ian16527 Forumite
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    This has happened to me twice when the companies I worked for were taken over.

    The first time the dept. was targeted, but still felt a bit aggrieved as they didn't consider others on the same grade/job description in other departments. 
    The next one it was slash and burn to cut costs and 25% went.

    I think Grumpy-Chap has hit the mail on the head as in the role will be covered by the parent company.


    Best to move on and look for another job as the market seems buoyant at the moment, and the 1K is something they don't have to pay.
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