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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44962
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was made redundant on July 31st. I was a lecturer. My employer

Customer Question

I was made redundant on July 31st. I was a lecturer. My employer used a scoring matrix and I failed 3 areas. My observation grades were good and not outstanding so I lost 2 marks. This I do not dispute but my employer said my relevant skills and experience for the job were lacking and I lost 8 marks. They sent me a person specification which said that I need relevant recent experience in teaching on HE "OR" FE. My emphasis on the word or. They then said I only had experience in teaching on HE recently so this is why I lost marks. But I had experience of teaching both, whilst others still employed had only teaching experience in FE. It appears they turned the "OR" into or for FE teachers but not HE ones, there substitute and! The other area I lost marks on was on not teaching more than one subject. Although I have taught a range of subjects from project management to e commerce and law and some who are still teaching at the college have only taught IT or other subjects. I lost my appeal, which I expected! And am now going through early conciliation with ACAS, what are my chances please.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long did you work there for?

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

From 1999 to 2014

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

When can I expect a reply please

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

? I need to contact ACAS today

Ben Jones :

Just to let you know it is impossible to actually tell you what your chances are because you need to see a solicitor in person for this, who will conduct a formal case analysis, we are a Q&A site where we can discuss the law that applies but we cannot actually tell you how strong/weak your position is

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

well I know what the law is in relation to redundancy. I am saying I was unfairly selected for it viz a viz the matrix

Ben Jones :

the issue you will find with this is that a tribunal cannot substitute its view for that of the employer when it comes to assessing the scoring criteria. They must use the criteria which were selected by the employer and can only determine if they were applied fairly, in a sense of whether you were treated and scored in the same way as others at risk of redundancy at the time

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

Well I am aware of this. But my question is in relation to whether the wording of the matrix document. Would this be seen as a totally legal entity and read as such or can the employer imply changes i.e in relation to the word "or"? Furthermore, how much flexibility can an employer have in relation to determining what skills are necessary AFTER determining who should be redeployed or not?

Ben Jones :

if others were assessed on both HE and FE teaching experience but you were not then it would be a genuine complaint about the way you were scored. The employer should apply the scoring criteria fairly across the board so they cannot just pick and choose who they apply one half to and who they apply the other half to - all should be scored equally and using the same considerations

Ben Jones :

But it would also depend on what difference that would have made to your overall scoring, if you had been scored as others were would your scores have been high enough to remain in the job?

Ben Jones :

Also have you found a new job yet?

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

I am not saying that others were scored on both HE and FE. I am saying that they only taught on FE in the last 3 years. I only taught on HE in the last 3 years. It all hinges on the word or! I have no idea how the others scored as the college will not give me this information. But I am saying if they applied this fairly they would surely have scored no higher. Equally in relation to the subject areas. If I am being marked down for not having a broad range of experience others should also be marked down!

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

I have not yet found another job although I have had interviews. I have been offered some session work but this has not materialized yet

Ben Jones :

If you were all scored on your experience over the same period then if you only had experience of HE during that time and others only had experience of FE, the fact they had 'or' in the scoring would have expected them to apply the most recent and relevant experience so you should have also been scored on HE not had that discounted, but it is completely impossible to say what the tribunal will think because one judge on one day may have a completely different opinion to another on a different day

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

So are you telling me that the matrix is not to be interpreted strictly?

Ben Jones :

it never is, the employer does have a lot of leeway on how it is interpreted but the main requirement is that those scored are scored as equally as possible

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

okay....and my failure to get another job?

Ben Jones :

if the redundancy is found to be unfair then you will only be compensated for loss of earnings as a result of the dismissal. You have a duty to find a new job ASAP so as soon as you do and assuming it pays at a similar level then you will no longer have any ongoing losses so your compensation will be limited to the period of unemployment up to then

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

Oh yes I was aware of that.

Ben Jones :

So just proceed with the conciliation process for now, it's free and you have nothing to lose by following it to the end

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

So what would be a reasonable sum to ask for?

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

They have asked me what I would settle for

Ben Jones :

that would depend entirely on what your projected losses are - you need to determine how long you believe you will be out of a job for or what your losses as a result of this are and use that to determine a reasonable sum

JACUSTOMER-985oovcj- :

I am 64! They also cut my hours down to 3 days per week in January, so I received a reduced redundancy!!

Ben Jones :

I cannot say how long you will be out of a job for or what your prospects of employment are so you need to determine that based on your industry, the job market, your applications so far and so on....in the end you have to just settle for a sum that you are happy with

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